Africa > West Africa > Cote d'Ivoire > The 15-member regional bloc ECOWAS has made a 'quantum leap'

Côte d'Ivoire: The 15-member regional bloc ECOWAS has made a 'quantum leap'


The 15-member regional bloc ECOWAS has made a 'quantum leap' in the advancement of its economic integration, with the adoption of Common External Tariff (CET), efforts to relaunch monetary integration and the conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations with the EU, a top ECOWAS official said Friday.

ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Desire Ouedraogo told West African leaders gathered in the Ivorian capital, Yamoussoukro, for their 44th ordinary summit that the adoption of the CET by the leaders at their summit in Dakar last year, and which is due approaching into result 1 Jan. 2015, was a 'crucial step in the realisation of the Customs Union'.

'This is as well exemplified by the diligent measures taken to relaunch our monetary integration project and the EPA negotiations. Lastly, this is exemplified by the actions undertaken to relaunch the great infrastructural projects required for the interconnection of our markets inclunding trade facilitation,' he said at the start of the two-day summit.

President Ouedraogo commended Presidents Alassane Ouattara of Cote d'Ivoire concerning infrastructure, particularly air transport; Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso for free movement of persons and intra-community trade liberalisation; Mackly Sall of Senegal for the EPA negotiations inclunding Mamadou Issoufou of Niger and John Mahama of Ghana for monitoring the monetary integration process.

He called for a 'new impetus' in the area of infrastructure with the electrical interconnection network project of the Mano River Union (MRU) nations, the Abidjan-Lagos highway project, whose treaty will be signed by the five nations concerned at this summit, and the construction of joint border posts.

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