Twitter Facebook Youtube
New countries and institutions undertake to promote ties with ECOWAS

Abuja, 2nd March 2017

Moha Ou Ali Tagma,(Morocco) with Marcel de Souza
Mohamed Fall (UNICEF) with Marcel de Souza
Marcel de Souza with  Dr Solomon Jere (Zambia)


Marcel de Souza (right)  with Babatunde Nurudeen (Nigeria)

Four new personalities presented their letters of credence to Mr. Marcel de Souza, President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), on Thursday, 2 March 2017, at the headquarters of the institution in Abuja, Nigeria.

The new personalities include Zambian ambassador Dr. Solomon Jere and Moroccan ambassador Moha Ou Ali Tagma, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to Ecowas, Babatunde Nurudeen and the Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Mohamed Fall.

While receiving their letters of credence, Mr. de Souza congratulated them on their appointment and assured them of his support in the success of their mission. He reviewed with them the state of cooperation between their respective institutions and countries and the regional organisation. He called for new initiatives that will strengthen their collaboration for regional economic integration.

Speaking of collaboration, the Zambian diplomat stressed that it will focus in particular on tourism, agriculture, and the fight against insecurity.

“This collaboration will allow Zambia to build on the experience of ECOWAS in some areas, and will also provide an opportunity for ECOWAS to benefit from the potential of my country,” said Dr Solomon Jere.

This is the first time that Zambia, a Southern African country, has an ambassador accredited to ECOWAS,

For his part, Nigeria’s new Permanent Representative to Ecowas, Babatunde Nurudeen, promised to strengthen relations between his country and the regional organisation.

The President of the Commission invited Mr. Nurudeen to support ECOWAS’ efforts to recover the Community levies from Nigeria.

He used the opportunity to thank the Head of State of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, for the payment of 54 million US dollars representing the Community levies of 2015 and part of those of 2014.

With UNICEF Representative Mohamed Fall, Marcel de Souza discussed the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the United Nations Children’s Fund and the ECOWAS.

They also discussed ways and means that will help address the issue of malnutrition of 2,500 children in eastern Borno, Nigeria, and the “child witch” phenomenon.

De Souza explained that in some West African countries, “child witches” are those who are born with a curse or an anomaly, and are wrongly considered to be able to “kill” their parents, who find pretexts to eliminate them.

“There are no child witches. A child is God’s creature and must be protected. Children represent the future,” he said.

Receiving the letter of credence of Morocco’s new ambassador to ECOWAS, Moha Ou Ali Tagma, Marcel de Souza gave a report on his recent visit to Rabat. He said that during the visit, they discussed how to boost economic, cultural, historical and trade relations within the framework of a South-South and “win-win” cooperation between Morocco and ECOWAS.

Mr. de Souza also mentioned Morocco’s request to Liberia’s President and ECOWAS Chairperson, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to join the regional organisation as a full member.

“In the light of the current texts, Morocco cannot be admitted as a member of ECOWAS because our regional community is based on integration and is only delimited to West Africa,” said Marcel de Souza.

On the Moroccan side, de Souza indicated that it is believed that West (West Africa) can be extended to the North (North Africa), and therefore Morocco can join ECOWAS.

“Morocco’s membership file will be submitted to the ECOWAS Authority of the Heads of State and Government,” Marcel de Souza said.

He stated that without admitting Morocco as a member of ECOWAS, the two sides can sign an Economic Partnership Agreement.

Furthermore, the President of the ECOWAS Commission indicated that negotiations are underway for the signature, within two months, of such an agreement through a Memorandum of Understanding.


Share on :

Twitter Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Youtube Instgram