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ECOWAS facing most difficult challenges since formation — Ejime



Paul Ejime with European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi

A public affairs analyst, Mr. Paul Ejime, has lamented that the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) is facing some of the most difficult challenges since its formation in 1975.

Mr. Ejime made the remarks to Diaspora Digital Media (DDM) after sharing views at an informal meeting with the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Her Excellency, Ms. Samuela Isopi.

Ejime, a former war correspondent and veteran journalist, said the exchange with Ms. Isopi was centered around how to leverage strategic partnership for effective conflict management and resolution interventions.

According to him, four of the 15-nation West African regional bloc are under military dictatorships.

Presently, three of the four — Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso — are threatening to quit the organisation altogether.

The leadership of the affected countries cite interference into their internal affairs by neighbouring and European forces as reasons for the decision.

Meanwhile, Senegal once considered an anchor of regional stability is facing uncertainty over the date for a crucial presidential election.

How does EU relate with ECOWAS?

The EU is one of ECOWAS’ strategic partners.

It has provided the West African regional Economic bloc with technical and financial support worth more than one billion Euro.

The support covers key areas such peace and security, counterterrorism, maritime and other development areas.

The exchange of ideas with the EU Ambassador covered these and other thematic areas of ECOWAS-EU collaborations and on emerging challenges.

This particularly revolves around the resurgence of military incursions in politics and the apparent erosion of freedom, the rule of law and threats to liberal democracy.

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As a Private Consultant, Mr Ejime has continued to provide technical support on corporate strategic governance Communications to ECOWAS and other international organisations.

About the West African regional bloc

ECOWAS, a regional political and economic union of fifteen countries, is located in West Africa.

Its main goals are to promote economic integration, trade, peace, and human rights in the region.

Some of its achievements include the free movement of persons and the ECOWAS passport.

Other achievements include the ECOWAS court of justice and the West African regional bloc peacekeeping force.

ECOWAS was established on 28 May 1975 with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos.

Its headquarters are in Abuja, Nigeria.

The current president of the ECOWAS commission is Dr. Omar Alieu Touray.

The fifteen countries in ECOWAS are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

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