Saturday, April 9, 2016 6:24 am
There have been changes of batons at the headquarters of West Africa’s economic regional grouping, with Amb. Kadré Ouedraogo handing over to Mr Marcel Alain de Souza of Republic of Benin as new president.
A new vice president and seven new commissioners have also replaced the old ones.
Ouedraogo had spent four years and formally handed over to his successor at a ceremony in Abuja Friday.
In his address, Ouedraogo expressed confidence in the incoming president to facilitate the process of integration in the sub-region.
He described Alain de Souza as a “worthy son of West Africa and one with a distinguished and rich career.”
Born on Oct. 20, 1953 in Pobé, Republic of Benin, de Souza is a distinguished and rich career.
He held several positions, including that of Internal Controller at the Head Office of Bank of West African States (BCEAO) for Benin and Director of Admin at the BCEAO Headquarters.
After BCEAO, he served his country as Head of Department of Economic and Financial Affairs in the Office of the President of the Republic of Benin and as Special Advisor to the President on Monetary and Banking Affairs.
He served as Minister for Development, Economic Analysis and Forecast from May 28, 2011 to June 15, 2015, and as a Member of Parliament from June 15 to date.
Ouedraogo said “I call on heads of institutions and all members of staff of all categories to support the new president in the performance of his task as they have done with me.
“Tremendous progress had been made in the region in the last four years.”
He added that among other successes recorded were that the adoption of the single biometric identity card, the launch of the Abidjan- Lagos Highway Project and the implementation of the Common External Tariff (CET).
“These successes referred to above are an exemplification of ECOWAS’s pride of place among the outstanding Regional Economic Communities on our continent.”
Ouedraogo, however, added that the sub-region was still faced with challenges despite the progress made.
“There is a need to restore ensure sustainable peace and security by relentlessly combating terrorism and organised border crime. In the second place is poverty eradication and the organisation’s capacity to meet expectations that have become more specific and urgent for our people.”
The Vice President, Dr Toga Gayewea McIntosh of Liberia, and seven outgoing commissioners were succeeded by new ones.
The new vice president is now Edward Singhatey of The Gambia.
The new commissioners include Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Commissioner for Macro Economic Policy and the Commissioner for trade Customs and Free Movement.
Others include the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, the Commissioner for Finance and the Commissioner Agriculture, environment and water Resources.