Nigeria / German president visits ECOWAS
ABUJA, Nigeria, November 11, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas on Monday, 10th November 2008 praised the President of Germany, Mr. Horst Kohler, for his relentless campaign in support of regional economic groupings as the engine for growing the economies of developing countries and addressing the issue of poverty.
Welcoming the German President who was at the ECOWAS Commission as part of his visit to Nigeria, Dr Chambas said the Commission has shifted its focus to the consolidation of regional peace and security, removing the obstacles to intra-Community movement of citizens and addressing the challenges of pervasive poverty.
He said that after years of conflicts, the region was gradually consolidating peace and security while grappling with new challenges such as human trafficking and trafficking in drugs destined mostly for Europe through the region.
He paid tribute to Germany for its technical and financial support for the activities of the Commission, particularly in the areas of capacity building through German institutions such as the GTZ and in the areas of peace, security and policy harmonization.
Responding, Mr. Kohler said his campaign in favour of regional economic communities was driven by the realization that it represented the best vehicle for achieving faster progress on the development challenges faced by developing countries. He paid tribute to ECOWAS for being well advanced with its integration project, saying that it should serve as a model for the rest of Africa. He then advocated greater sharing of experiences among economic communities in the continent to enable them benefit from best practices and the principle of complementarity.
He also spoke of the need for regional economic communities, particularly ECOWAS, to pursue the implementation of cross-border infrastructure that will not only maximize the benefits of such facilities, but also contribute towards the attainment of the objective of the Community in the area of free movement of goods and persons.
While acknowledging the benefits of big infrastructure projects, the President suggested that this be complemented by smaller projects that are not only equally functional but also more cost-effective and appropriate in meeting the needs of the people.
SOURCE : Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)