Final Communique of Fiftieth Ordinary Session of the Ecowas Authority of Heads of State and Government, 17 December 2016, Abuja, Nigeria
1. The Fiftieth Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was convened on 17 December 2016 in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, under the chairmanship of H. E. Mrs Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF, President of the Republic of Liberia and current Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government.
2. The session was attended by the under-listed Heads of State and Government or their duly mandated representatives:
H. E. Mr Alassane OUATTARA, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire
H.E. Mr John Dramani MAHAMA, President of the Republic of Ghana
H.E. Prof. Alpha CONDE, President of the Republic of Guinea
H.E. Mr José Mário Vaz, President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau
H. E. Mrs Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF, President of the Republic of Liberia
H.E. Mr Ibrahim Boubacar KEITA, President of the Republic of Mali
H. E. Mr Mahamadou ISSOUFOU, President of the Republic of Niger
H.E. Mr Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
H. E. Mr Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal
H. E. Mr Ernest Bai KOROMA, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
H.E. Mr Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic
H. E. Mr. Aurelien A. AGBENONCI, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Benin
H. E. Alpha BARRY, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Burkinabe Abroad of Burkina Faso
Hon. Bala GARBA-JAHUMPA, Minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure of The Gambia
H. E. Cesar MONTEIRO, Ambassador of Cabo Verde in Senegal
3. The Summit was also attended by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Guinea Bissau and Head of UNIOGBIS, Mr. Brahim Modibo Touré, Executive Secretary of the Couseil de l’Entente, Mr. Patrice Kouame, as well as representatives of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) as observers.
4. During their session, the Heads of State and Government took note of the 2016 Annual Report of the President of the Commission and the Reports of the 77th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and of the 37th Meeting of the Mediation and Security Council.
5. The Heads of State and Government welcomed the quality of the reports submitted by the Council of Ministers, as well as the relevant recommendations contained therein. They also commended the excellent work accomplished by Community Institutions for the consolidation of the achievements of West Africa’s integration and reaffirmed their firm commitment to the attainment of regional integration goals, in an environment of sustainable peace, security and good governance.
6. The Authority warmly congratulated H. E. Jorge Carlos de Almeida FONSECA, President of the Republic of Cabo Verde on his re-election as President of the Republic of Cabo Verde and wished him success in his second term. It equally congratulated H. E. Nana Addo Akufo-Addo on his election as the President-elect of the Republic of Ghana and paid glowing tributes to H. E. John Dramani Mahama for demonstrating a great spirit of statesmanship by accepting the outcome of the elections. In addition, the Authority paid him glowing tribute for his significant contribution to the entrenchment of democracy in the region during his term as Chair of the Authority of Heads of State and Government.
7. The Heads of State and Government recalled that presidential and parliamentary elections would be held in 2017 in the Republic of Liberia and directed the ECOWAS Commission to provide the necessary assistance to Liberia in conformity with the relevant provisions of the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance.
8. Reaffirming their commitment to deepening the integration process in West Africa, the Heads of State and Government, after deliberations, endorsed the main recommendations contained in the different reports, and then considered the following specific issues:
ON WEST AFRICAN ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE
9. The Authority welcomed the progress made in some Member States, nearing double-digit growth rates, but expressed concern about the region’s poor performance due mainly to the combined negative effects of the fall in oil prices since 2014 on the fiscal balance of oil-exporting countries, particularly Nigeria, deteriorating prices of other commodities, especially mineral ores as well as the fragile political situation in some countries.
10. In this respect, the Authority urged Member States to initiate the necessary structural reforms and take appropriate economic and financial stimulus measures in order to be less vulnerable to commodity price fluctuations and improve their economies’ resilience to exogenous shocks.
ON REGIONAL INTEGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT MATTERS