Ibn Chambas is new ECOWAS Executive Sec
DR Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Member of Parliament for Bimbila, has been elected as the new Executive Secretary of the Economic Community of west African States (ECOWAS) in Dakar Senegal yesterday. A Radio Ghana reports said he beat his 72-year-old challenger, Professor Albert Tevoedjre of Benin, after the third contestant, Jeggan of Gambia, stepped down at the last minute in favour of Ghana’s candidature. Dr Chambas will take over from Lansana Kouyate, who did not seek re-election. The 25th Summit where Dr Chambas was elected is expected to elect the Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade as the new Chairman of the 15-member body. The summit will also select the countries which will host Secretariats for the ECOWAS Regional Parliament and the Court of Justice. Somewhere in May. this year, the Government initiated moves to get Dr Chambas elected as the new Executive Secretary, citing his rich credentials as one-time Deputy Foreign Minister and a key player in the Liberia peace talks as the reasons for backing his candidature. CV of Dr Chambas, new executive secretary of ECOWAS Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, a lawyer and political scientist, was born in Ghana on December 7, 1950. He attended Mfantsipim School, Cape Coast and Government Secondary School, Tamale. He holds degrees in Political Science from University of Ghana, Legon, (B.A. 1973) and Cornell University Ithaca, New York (M.A. 1977, Ph D (1980). He has a law degree from Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. He was admitted to practice law in Ghana and the State of Ohio. His working in the United States includes teaching at Oberlin College, Ohio and practicing law with the Cleveland, Ohio, Law Office of Forbes, Forbes and Teamor. He served as MP for Bimbilla in 1993-96 on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress. He was in that Parliament as the First Deputy Speaker (1993-1994) when he was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister. As First Deputy Speaker, he was Chairman of the Appointments and Privileges Committees of Parliament. Dr Chambas lost his seat in 1996 but was elected on December 7, 2000 on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress. He is the Ranking Member on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Minority National Democratic Congress. He is also a member of the Select Committee on Education and the Committee on Subsidiary legislation. In 1993-94, he chaired the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament with oversight responsibility for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Dr Chambas first entered government in 1987 as Deputy Foreign Secretary of Ghana. He was a member of the Head of State's summit delegations to a number of countries such as USA, China, UK, France, Malaysia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe etc. He himself led Ghana's delegation to several countries and conferences including the UN General Assembly, ministerial meetings of the OAU and ECOWAS, Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth. Dr Chambas was centrally involved in the ECOWAS mediation efforts in Liberia and directly participated in negotiations leading to the agreements ending the Liberian civil war. He was also a member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group, which worked to facilitate a transition to constitutional democratic governance in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. Between April 1997 and December 2000, Dr Chambas was the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of tertiary education. In that capacity, he had direct responsibility for the country's five universities, 10 Polytechnics and agencies/institutions charged with formulation of policies on higher education, accreditation and maintenance of standards in tertiary institutions. Dr Chambas was personally involved in the adoption of bold new initiatives on tertiary education such as diversification of funding, cost sharing, the introduction of the Ghana Education Trust Fund all of which strengthened the quality and financial standing of tertiary institutions. His tremendous skills in negotiations and conflict resolution clearly manifested themselves in the able manner he handled volatile student protests and industrial disputes involving university and polytechnic teachers and other Staff members. Dr Chambas, a Muslim, is married. His hobbies are soccer and horse riding.