Tuesday, September 26

ECOWAS to reduce 15-Member Commission to seven |

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will from March 2022 reduce its current 15-member Commission to seven.

The new seven-member Commission will comprise the president, vice-president and five other commissioners.

The decision, arrived at during the just-ended 59th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, is intended to cut down on costs.

The session was formally opened by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, and attended by all ECOWAS member-states, with the excepction of Mali, due to the military takeover there.

The meeting adopted the reconstituted ECOWAS Council of the Wise for Preventive Diplomacy, with Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, former Nigerian president, as the chairman.

Dr. Jonathan is currently serving as the ECOWAS Chief Mediator in the Malian crisis.

The reconstituted Council consists of 30 members, two from each of the 15 member-states of ECOWAS.

Ghana’s representatives to the Council are Mrs Gifty Afenyi-Dadzie, a former member of Council of State and Dr. Williams Collins Asare, a former Country Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Session, in a communique, urged the Malian Transition Government to abide by the transition programme and hand over power to an elected civilian administration in 2022.

It also reaffirmed its commitment to intensify the fight against terrorism and insecurity in the Sahel and to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

“The Session extended the mandate of the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG) to ensure the security of their December 2021 polls”.

In efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the West Africa region, the session tasked the West African Health Organization (WAHO) to intensify its efforts in the local production of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, will host the next ECOWAS regular Session in December.