Nigerian President Tinubu Elected New Chairman of ECOWAS

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Picture: Kola SULAIMON/AFP

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Picture: Kola SULAIMON/AFP

Published Jul 11, 2023


West African heads of state have chosen Nigeria's newly-elected President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead the regional bloc for the next year at the 63rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leadership summit, held in the capital city of Guinea-Bissau on July 9.

The gathering is President Tinubu's first international engagement within the continent since he was sworn in on May 29.

Accepting the responsibility to lead the bloc, Tinubu stated that he would run an inclusive administration, calling the development "a noteworthy affirmation of Nigeria’s continued leadership in the sub-region and the African continent.

"As Chairman of the important coalition, I renew my dedication and that of our nation to the cause of peace and progress as we foster the collaboration and commitment required to tackle trans-border issues of security, economic growth and sustainable development," the president said.

In particular, the Nigerian leader highlighted the commitment of member states to democracy, good governance, rule of law and peace, stressing that they "will not accept coup after coup in West Africa again."

He further elaborated by saying that the region is facing numerous security threats, including activities of Islamist extremists groups. The president also mentioned internal issues and political crises, referring to consequences of military coups in some countries of the region.

“On peace and security, the threat has reached an alarming level, and needs urgent actions in addressing the challenges," Tinubu said, adding: "As terrorists do not respect boundaries, we must work collectively to have an effective regional counter-terrorism measure."

In this regard, President Tinubu emphasized the need for joint actions, promising that under his administration, all regional frameworks aimed "to address the menace of insecurity" will be harmonized.

He also reiterated the bloc's intention to pursue an inclusive economic integration and thus unlock economic potential of the region. Tinubu pledged that ECOWAS will continue to advance trade, investment, and business cooperation among member states by creating a conducive business environment, as well as addressing the barriers that hamper intra-regional trade.