The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has reiterated its commitment to consolidate on a common market for the region.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, made the commitment in Abuja at a Diplomatic Cocktail organised by the Commission in honour of different partners of the regional body.
Mr. Brou noted that the common market for the region will be achieved through the application of the ECOWAS Common Tariff and the implementation of the Trade Liberalisation Scheme.
“We believe that trade is crucial to wealth and job creation, and therefore we need to increase the level of intra-Community trade,” Mr. Brou emphasised.
On the region’s economy, Mr. Brou disclosed that there has been a consolidation of growth in ECOWAS in recent years improving steadily over the past three years.
“We are working closely with Member States to pursue reforms to ensure robust growth that will lead to job creation, bearing in mind that more than fifty percent of young people make up our region’s population,” he added.
Mr. Brou explained that the realization of regional socio-economic infrastructure remains among the key priorities for ECOWAS in a bid to facilitate communication, reduce cost of business and improve competiveness and trade.
He revealed that the regional body had commissioned joint border post between Nigeria and Benin Republic and between Ghana and Togo this year.
According to Mr. Brou, “ECOWAS will continue to build joint border posts and cross border communication network in the entire region to facilitate trade.”
On the continental level, Mr. Brou, said the African Continental Free Trade Areas, would help the region to boost trade with the rest of the continent.
“The African Continental Free Trade Area, which entered into force on 30 May 2019, is expected to increase opportunities for our economic operators; all fifteen Member States have signed the free trade agreement,” he stated.
According to the Head of the Regional Commission, ECOWAS is also pursuing its efforts to strengthen democracy and good governance in the region, which he said has maintained the peace and stability of the region.
The Nigerian Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, said Nigeria would continue to work closely with all other member states on the implementation of all the regional integration programmes.