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Jonathan re-elected as ECOWAS chairman

Published by Tribune on Fri, 25 Mar 2011

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been re-elected the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in a unanimous move by leaders of member countries.The re-election of Jonathan, which came at the expiration of his tenure, was the high point of the 39th ordinary session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Abuja, on Thursday.Nigeria assumed the chairmanship of ECOWAS at the 35th summit in December 2008 and the mandate was renewed in  2010 following which Jonathan assumed the chairmanship of the authority in May 2010 at the death of former President Umaru YarAdua.The sub-regional body has also  re-admitted Guinea Conakry, Niger Republic and Cote dIvoire under the presidency of Alassane Quattara, following his recognition as the winner of the last presidential election in that country.Jonathan had briefed the meeting, on Wednesday, on the progress  by the ECOWAS under the chairmanship of Nigeria, a fact which influenced the leaders to renew the countrys mandate at the helm.He highlighted the achievements of the community since Nigeria took over, especially his own time as president saying, over this period, our organisation has recorded a number of noteworthy achievements. Of particular significance is the progress made in the area of the implementation of the ECOWAS Protocols and Common External Tarrif. Likewise is the implementation of ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, Free Movement of Persons, Goods and Services and the Rights of Establishment.He observed that ECOWAS was beset by crises  in member nations including Guinea Bissau, Gunieea Conakry, Niger and Cote dIvoire and noted that ECOWAS had coped sufficiently well, restoring peace and stability in Guinea Bissau and democracy in Guinea Conakry. 
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