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Akufo-Addo ends tenure as ECOWAS Chair

President Akufo-Addo is no longer the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The President’s tenure ended on Sunday, July 3. He delivered his last address as Chairman of the regional body at the 61st Ordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Accra.

President Akufo-Addo served as Chair of the regional body for two consecutive terms.

The President of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embaló has subsequently been elected as ECOWAS Chairman to succeed President Akufo-Addo.

He was elected after a closed-door meeting by the Authority of Heads of State after the opening ceremony of the 61st Ordinary Session summit.

The 49-year-old politician has been the President of Guinea-Bissau since February 2020 and was the Prime Minister of the country from November 2016 to January 2018.

President Akufo-Addo commended his colleague Heads of State for their support while he served his two terms as ECOWAS Chair.

“It has been a great privilege for Ghana and myself to be given the opportunity by you to serve this noble organisation for two consecutive terms, particularly at one of the most trying periods of its history.

“I will continue to play my part to the best of my ability in the work of the authority,” President Akufo-Addo said.

President Akufo-Addo called on ECOWAS countries to focus on increasing production in agriculture.

According to him, this will help deal with the current sharp increase in global prices including food and petroleum products.

“We are all victims of global inflationary pressures, which have exacerbated the food crisis in many parts of our region, instigated by the decline in production due to the impact of climate change,” he added.

Touching on terrorism, President Akufo-Addo noted that it is prudent for the region to reinforce the collective response to the destabilising threat.

“Our determination in this area must be stronger than ever. Equally unshaken must be our resolve to maintain the stability of our region and its member states,” he stated.

He called for a minute’s silence in memory of all the victims of terrorist attacks in the sub-region and their families.

President Akufo-Addo noted that ECOWAS’ decision to deploy some 609 security persons to Guinea-Bissau after the failed coup d’état has helped stabilise the country.

He explained that “We must be seen as ready to go the extra mile to ensure the stability of our community and its member states.”

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