President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been elected as Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
She was voted into the position in an election which took place at the ECOWAS summit held over the weekend in Dakar, the Senegalese capital.
President Sirleaf promised to consolidate the peace and security of the region, calling on member states to work even harder to defeat terrorism.
She takes over from out going Chairman, Senegalese President Macky Sall.
In a statement released by the Office of the President, Sirleaf called for the conclusion of negotiations and legal actions to enhance trade integration in the West African region.
Sirleaf Proposes New Currency For ECOWAS
She promised that as the new Chairperson of ECOWAS, she will work to improve financial stability as well as monetary integration among member states.
President Sirleaf also called on ECOWAS member states to work even harder to defeat terrorism, strengthen intelligence capacity and enhance coordination with the African Union, the United Nations and other partner institutions. She stressed that Boko Haram must be totally defeated.
Director of the West Africa Research Center, Dakar, Ousmane Sene responding to the outcome said achieving monetary integration will be an important step toward regional integration for ECOWAS.
“ECOWAS moving from here…will be consolidating the sub-regional organization. They are already talking about monetary integration. You will no longer be having Naira in Nigeria, CFA in Senegal, but it will be one currency and which is extremely important because this will be going toward consolidating economic relations within the community.
“Instead of having Senegal sending troops to Mali in order to defend against terrorism, we will be thinking about having the ECOWAS forces composed of Senegalese soldiers, Nigerian soldiers, Ghanaian soldiers, Gambian soldiers, etc. in one, unified army which will be able to intervene any time; and it will be much stronger. They will have more weaponry; they will have more equipment; they will be better trained, and they will be able to intervene wherever it is necessary.”