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19.03.2004 General News

President Kufuor calls for re-direction of ECOWAS' focus

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Accra, March 19, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Friday called on the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to re-direct the organization with the appropriate focus.

He said this would enable the organization set to work in pursuit of its original set of objectives under the ECOWAS and New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) Protocols to satisfy the aspirations of their people.

President Kufuor was speaking at a dinner hosted in honour of the Heads of State and Government attending the Accra Summit of the ECOWAS on the Implementation of NEPAD in West Africa at the Banquet Hall in Accra. He said the re-direction of the focus would be in line with the objectives of the Summit to afford them the opportunity as the highest decision makers of the member States to review their performance in relation to targets set at the last Summit held in Yamoussoukro, Cote D'Ivoire last year.

President Kufuor, who is also the Chairman of ECOWAS said the Summit would in addition adopt appropriate strategies to speed up the implementation of the NEPAD programmes in the Sub-Region.

He said while discussing the acceleration of the NEPAD process member States should agree that the Sub-Region was currently at a consolidation stage.

The ECOWAS Chairman said sister countries such as Cote D'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea Bissau were just about freeing themselves from the debilitating conflicts and destabilisation, which effectively disrupted their socio-economic development.

"In the scheme of things the rest of us felt compelled to rally to arrest and reverse the spreading destabilisation".

"This we have managed to achieve at great cost to all of us, both in terms of human resources and finance and with the help of many of our development partners and the United Nations (UN)," he said.