The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Thursday marked its 45th anniversary amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The theme of the anniversary was “45 Years of Solidarity at the Service of the People of West Africa.”
The Sub -themes were “Promoting Socio-Economic and Human Development Together through Regional Integration” and “Combating Covid-19 Together in West Africa.”
The ECOWAS is a regional political and economic union of 15 countries located in West Africa which has over 350 million inhabitants.
The Community, since its creation on 28 May 1975, has been promoting economic cooperation and regional integration as a tool for an accelerated development of the West African economy.
Covid-19 extraordinary summit
Prior to the anniversary, ECOWAS Heads of State and Government held an extraordinary session through a video conference on April 23, 2020, to discuss the Situation and Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic in the ECOWAS Region.
The Body had immediately made available financial support in addition to assistance from international partners, for the purchase of medical supplies and equipment essential for the fight against the pandemic in member countries.
The leaders also pledged their commitment to allocating at least 15% of their annual budget to strengthen the health care systems in their respective countries.
ECOWAS reaffirmed its solidarity with Member States and welcomed all the measures already taken to contain the spread of the virus and care for the sick.
The meeting notably resulted in the appointment of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari as the ECOWAS Covid-19 Response Coordinator.