‘ECOWAS will prioritise job creation,’President Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday said members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) would in the coming years focus on job creation in the sub- region.

He said the population of Africa is growing annually than any other continent and therefore the dereliction of job creation in their political agenda could result in massive social and political unrest.

President Mahama said this when he opened the 47th Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and government in Accra.

The day’s session would among other things discuss peace and security issues bothering on the sub-region and present reports of the findings on previous deliberations.

Presidents in attendance are; President Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Out-going President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, President Ellen Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia, President Alassane Quattara of Cote Ivoire, President Abubakar Keita of Mali and President Ernest Bi Koromah of Sierra Leone.

President Mahama tasked the ECOWAS Commission and other stakeholders to work assiduously on job creation documents that would empower member Heads of State to implement for the betterment of their people.

On the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, President Mahama commended the international donor community for the support they offered to bring the deadly virus disease under control.

He announced that while Liberia has been declared Ebola free by the World Health Organisation, Guinea and Sierra Leone are carrying out mop up exercises and expressed the hope that they would also be declared Ebola free in the coming days.

On peace and security in the sub- region, President Mahama commended ECOWAS, Economic Community of Central African States (ECAS) and the African Union for mobilising forces to subdue the activities of terrorists.

He said although some of the captives of the terrorists have been freed over the months, a lot more needed to be done to ensure complete freedom and safety for them and others in the region.

Mr Kadre Desire Quedraogo, President of the ECOWAS Commission called on member countries to draw up comprehensive programmes that would fit into the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of ECOWAS on May 28.

He urged them to use the anniversary to take stock of their performance by building on their gains and re strategising on their failures for posterity.

Mr Quedraogo announced that ECOWAS would ensure that the anniversary is celebrated with a festival of arts and culture to bring the commonness of member states to the limelight.

Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa, commended ECOWAS, Nigeria and ECAS for their professional standards in the handling of Boko Haram issues in Nigeria and beyond.

He gave the assurance that the United Nations would continue to offer support to the ECOWAS to diffuse all kinds of political and social tensions in the West African region. GNA

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