The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu has assured ECOWAS leaders attending the 51st Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Governments in Monrovia that the cordial relationship existing between his country and Africa will forever remain solid.
Speaking as a special guest at the summit, Prime Minister Netanyahu also praised ECOWAS for its efforts in the sustenance of peace over the years, noting, “Israel for Africa and Africa for Israel in helping to developing our respective nations,” he told participants at the summit.
For his part, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel A. De Souza in his statement congratulated and paid a well-deserved tribute her for her commitment to regional integration, peace and decisive leadership throughout her tenure as the ‘First female president in Africa and First Female ECOWAS Chairperson.
Speaking further, the ECOWAS President noted, “You have represented West Africa in the worthiest manner, and demonstrated remarkable strength and courage in the fulfilment of your responsibilities; you have guided the regional and your influence reaches beyond our Community,” President De Souza said in his remark to his colleagues.
He also noted that the outgoing ECOWAS Chairperson, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the course of her terms in office achieved significant progress for Liberia and the sub-region by allowing members state to exist together in Harmonious cohesion, to address challenges of national and regional governance.
Stressing, “Madam President, as your tenure draws to a close, I wish to express the sincere gratitude of the Commission, Parliament, Court of Justice and all ECOWAS institutions, for the dexterous and determined management of all matters concerning our economy community,” Mr. De Souza in his statement noted.
Earlier, President Sirleaf boasted of the numerous achievements her leadership have made since becoming Chairperson of ECOWAS, making specific reference of the election of Gambia President Adama Barrow, and also expressed thanks and appreciation to Nigeria for its support in regional peacekeeping activities.
The handing over of President Sirleaf as Chairperson of the Authority of Heads of States and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is one of the items on the main today, according to a statement issued by the secretariat of the summit.
Aside the election of the new Chair of the Authority, the West African leaders will examine numerous issues, including Morocco application to join ECOWAS and Tunisia’s observer status request, as well as the Association Agreement between Mauritania and the Community.
The Authority will also consider a series of reports, in particular the special and 2017 interim reports of the ECOWAS Commission President, Marcel de Souza. At the same time discuss the reports of the 78th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Minister, and 38th Mediation and Security Council, as well as the report of the ad hoc Ministerial Committee on institutional reform and the end of tenure of ECOWAS statutory appointees.
At the end of the Monrovia Summit will be marked by the signing of the Dakar-Abidjan Corridor Treaty, and the laying of the first stone for regional electricity project. The project covers Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
At the Monrovia Summit, 11 West African countries’ heads of State were in full attendance.