Ministre des Affaires Etrangères, de l'intégration Africaine et des Togolais de l'Extérieur
Professeur de philosophie politique

Prof. Robert Dussey

Ministre des Affaires Etrangères, de l'intégration Africaine et des Togolais de l'Extérieur
Professeur de philosophie politique

FINAL COMMUNIQUE OF THE 53rd ORDINARY SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT OF ECOWAS

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July 31, 2018, Lomé, Togolese Republic

1. The fifty-third ordinary session of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was held on July 31, 2018 in Lome, in the Togolese Republic , under the chairmanship of HE Mr Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic, President in office of the Conference.

2. At this session, Heads of State and Government attended
hereafter, or their duly authorized representatives:
– HE Mr. Roch Marc Christian KABORE, President of Burkina Faso
– HE Mr. Jorge Carlos de ALMEIDA FONSECA, President of the Republic of Cabo Verde
– HE Mr Alassane OUATTARA, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
– HE Mr. Adama BARROW, President of the Republic of The Gambia
– HE Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO, President of the Republic of Ghana
– HE Prof. Alpha CONDE, President of the Republic of Guinea
– HE Mr. José Mário VAZ, President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau
– HE Mr. Issoufou MAHAMADOU, President of the Republic of Niger;
– HE Mr. Muhammadu BUHARI, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
– HE Mr. Macky SALL, President of the Republic of Senegal
– HE Mr. Julius Maada BIO, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
– Mr. E. Faure Essozimna GNASSINGBE, President of the Togolese Republic.
– HE Mr. Aurélien A. AGBENONCI, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Republic of Benin
– HE Mr. Abdramane SYLLA, Minister of Malians Abroad and African Integration of the Republic of Mali
– HE GBEHZOHNGAR Mr. Findley, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia

3. Also present:
– HE Jean Claude Kassi BROU, President of the ECOWAS Commission
– HE Mr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS);
– Mr. Abdallah Boureima, President of the West African Economic and Monetary Union Commission (UEMOA);
– Mr. EL-Ghassim WANE, Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union.

4. The Heads of State and Government took note of the Interim Report 2018 of the President of the ECOWAS Commission as well as reports from the 80th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and the 40th Meeting of the Council of Ministers. Mediation and Security.

5. They commended the quality of the reports submitted as well as the relevance of the recommendations that are conducive to the achievement of ECOWAS objectives for growth and stability in the region.

6. At the end of its deliberations, the Conference endorsed the main recommendations contained in the various reports and then examined the following specific issues:

ON THE ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION OF REGIONAL INTEGRATION PROGRAMS

7. The Conference welcomed the good prospects for economic growth in the region with a rate of 3.2% in 2018 against achievements of 2.3% and 0.2% in 2017 and 2016 respectively. This positive trend is due, among other things, to the rise in world prices for raw materials, particularly oil, minerals (gold, bauxite, iron), cocoa, cotton, as well as economic reforms and investments in the field. infrastructures.

8. In order to improve the resilience of the Member States and to make the sources of regional growth more stable and less fragile, the Conference urged them to continue the efforts to diversify economies and to set up specific policies in favor of vulnerable layers for more inclusive growth.

On the creation of the monetary union

9. The Conference took note of the reports of the meetings of the Presidential Task Force for the ECOWAS Single Currency Program whose conclusions and recommendations mark important progress towards the objective of providing the region with a monetary union.

10. She congratulated the Heads of State members of the Task Force for the progress made in implementing the activities of the ECOWAS Single Currency Roadmap for the results achieved.

11. Under Macroeconomic Convergence for 2017, the Conference noted the progress made by countries in all the criteria, particularly the key criterion of the budget deficit as compared to 2016. She urged member states to pursue the implementation of virtuous economic policies in order to meet the convergence criteria.

12. Under the exchange rate regime, the Conference instructed the Chairman of the ECOWAS Commission to hold consultations and meetings with the Working Group, composed of the BCEAO, Central Bank of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Nigeria. WAMA to submit proposals, before the end of 2018. On this occasion, the harmonization of the monetary policy framework and the future central bank model will also be examined.

13. It also instructed the ECOWAS Commission, in collaboration with WAMA and the Central Banks of the Community, to submit to it at its next session proposals for the name of the future common currency.

14. The Conference instructs the Commission to make all the arrangements for the effective involvement of all Central Bank Governors in the process of creating the single currency of ECOWAS.

15. The Conference also took note of the Revised Road Map for the Single Currency Program and the establishment of a Special Fund to cover its financing needs. In this regard, it requests that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) and the Bank of Ghana take the necessary measures for the payment of their share.

16. It took note of the conclusions of the ECOWAS Single Currency Study carried out by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) which specifies the optimal conditions for the creation of the future single currency of ECOWAS.

17. The Summit called for greater involvement of the Member States in the debate and instructed the Commission to ensure that all countries are informed of progress.

With regard to the free movement of persons and goods

18. The Heads of State welcomed the continuation of actions for the effective implementation of the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, the Right of Residence and Establishment through the Development of a Follow-up Mechanism to facilitate the regular evaluation of the application of that Protocol. They urged the Commission to take any initiative aimed at reducing the obstacles to free movement and to report to the political authorities of the Member States concerned.

19. With regard to the Customs Union, the Conference congratulated the Commission on the arrangements made for the extension and application of the Customs Code following its adoption in December 2017, in particular the training of customs officers and the continuation of its support to the two Member States which have not yet implemented the Common External Tariff.

Economic Partnership Agreements between the West Africa Region and the European Union

20. The Conference notes that the non-signature of the regional EPA by all member states and the implementation of interim EPAs poses significant challenges to the regional integration process. In order to strengthen the coordination of regional policies and cooperation with the European Union, the Summit calls on European partners to increase flexibility on the EPA issue in particular, on the timetable for the implementation of interim EPAs .

Continental African Free Trade Area (CAFTA)

21. The Conference welcomed the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) during the Extraordinary Summit of the AU Conference held on 21 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda. It took note of the signing of the Agreement by several African countries, and to this end invites the member states that have not yet signed to accelerate the process of their accession.

22. The Conference instructs the ECOWAS Commission to assist Member States to develop a regional position on outstanding issues including tariff concessions, the schedule of specific commitments on services and rules of origin.

Relative to Human Development

23. With regard to education, the Conference congratulated the Commission for putting in place mechanisms to promote regional ideals in schools. She invited her to move towards incorporating educational modules on regional integration into curricula.

24. In the humanitarian and social field, the Conference reiterated its concern about the situation of African migrants in detention centers. She called on the Commission to become more involved in coordinating Member States’ positions in the Global Compact process for safe, orderly and regular migration.

Regarding agricultural development and food security

25. The Conference was concerned about the sharp deterioration of the food security situation in some Member States with significant decreases in production compared to the 2016/2017 crop year observed.

26. She welcomed the urgent mobilization measures of the Regional Reserve for Food Security which concretizes the appeal she made at its Extraordinary Summit held on 14 April 2018 in Lomé, Togolese Republic. It called on beneficiary member states to confirm and honor their commitment to rebuild the mobilized stock, with a view to ensuring the sustainability of this regional solidarity instrument for vulnerable populations. The Conference instructed the ECOWAS Commission to take the necessary steps to make food available to the affected countries as soon as possible.

FOR PEACE, SECURITY AND DEMOCRACY

27. The Conference reaffirms the importance of peace, security and stability in the ECOWAS region. It reiterates its condemnation of the terrorist attacks in the region and expresses its solidarity with the affected countries.

28. It reaffirms its determination to fight relentlessly against terrorism and violent extremism. To this end, the Conference welcomes the convincing results achieved in the fight against the terrorist group Boko Haram.

29. The Conference commends the commitment of the member countries of the Multinational Joint Force of the Lake Chad Basin and the G5 Sahel Joint Force in the fight against terrorism. To this end, it appeals to all Member States of the Community, in a spirit of community solidarity, to provide material, financial and technical support to the armed forces of the Member States engaged in the fight against terrorism in the Basin Lake Chad and the Sahel. The Conference calls upon the United Nations Security Council to place the G5 Sahel Force under Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter with a view to ensuring sustainable and multilateral funding.

30. The Conference urges member states to implement holistic measures to prevent radicalization, violent extremism and terrorism. She reiterated her appeal to Member States for a better sharing of information and intelligence.

31. The Conference welcomes the holding of the Joint Summit of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS and ECCAS on 30 July 2018 in Lomé, Togolese Republic. It urges the Member States and the Commission to implement diligently the decisions contained in the Lomé Declaration on peace, security, stability and combating violent extremism adopted by the Joint Summit.

ON THE SITUATION IN GUINEA-BISSAU

32. The Conference welcomes the significant progress made in resolving the political crisis in Guinea Bissau since the measures adopted at its Special Session on Guinea Bissau held on 14 April 2018 in Lomé, Togolese Republic. It encourages all Bissau-Guinean political actors and civil society to maintain its commitment to the road map, in particular to respect the date of 18 November 2018 for the holding of legislative elections.

33. The Conference expresses its concern about the slowness in the implementation of the parliamentary election calendar. To this end, it calls on Member States and the international community to support Guinea Bissau. It notes with satisfaction the financial contribution of one (1) million US dollars from the WAEMU for the preparation of the legislative elections and decides to contribute for an amount of two (2) million US dollars.

34. Welcoming the progress made since the Summit of 14 April 2018, the Conference decided to lift the sanctions imposed on certain political actors in Guinea-Bissau.

ON THE SOCIO-POLITICAL SITUATION IN TOGO

35. The Conference considered the report presented by the two Facilitators, Their Excellencies Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa AKUFO-ADDO, President of the Republic of Ghana and Professor Alpha CONDE, President of the Republic of Guinea, in the framework of their mandate. entrusted by the Conference on 14 April 2018.

36. The Summit commended the two facilitators and noted with satisfaction the progress and achievements that have been made. The Conference welcomes the commitment of stakeholders to maintain the spirit of consultation and dialogue with a view to promoting a lasting resolution of the crisis.

37. At the end of the exchanges, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government agreed as follows:

38. It encourages the Togolese Government to continue the confidence-building and appeasement measures by speeding up the judicial procedures for those arrested during political demonstrations and to study the possibility of additional measures for those persons.

39. The Conference of Heads of State condemns all recourse to violence, including the use of weapons reserved for the public forces and calls on the citizens who stole them during the demonstrations to return them to the competent authorities.

40. At the same time, it calls on political actors and civil society to abstain, in all circumstances, from acts and remarks that may fuel new tensions and jeopardize ongoing efforts. It urges the security forces to be professional in their mission of maintaining order, preserving the security of property and people.

41. The Conference of Heads of State urges the Government to proceed with the complete revision of the electoral register with a view to the organization, on 20 December 2018, of the Parliamentary Elections.

42. The Conference invites the Government and political actors to work towards the adoption of constitutional reforms, taking into account, inter alia, the following points:

– The two-round voting system for the election of the President of the Republic; 
– The limitation to two, the number of presidential terms; 
– Reconstitution of the Constitutional Court to review its composition and limit the number of terms of office of its members 
– Strengthening the electoral process.

43. The Conference of Heads of State recommends the adoption of these reforms through the parliamentary process with a view to speeding up the process of their implementation. If necessary, these reforms will be submitted to the electoral consultations.

44. The Conference welcomes the measures envisaged by the Togolese Government in the preparation, organization and conduct of transparent, credible and inclusive elections through, inter alia:

– The acceleration and finalization of the electoral census to establish reliable electoral lists; 
– The possibility for Togolese living abroad to vote in their places of residence during national elections; 
– The deployment of election observers

45. The Conference commends the opposition for its openness and sense of responsibility, and for its dialogue on the satisfaction of its demands.

46. ​​It invites all parties to comply with the Togolese Constitution.

47. The Conference of Heads of State commends the will of opening and permanent dialogue of the President of the Togolese Republic, and notes with interest its willingness to work with all the vital forces of the nation.

48. She also asked the ECOWAS Commission to provide support and technical expertise in the organization and conduct of the forthcoming elections.

49. The Conference renews its support to the two Facilitators of the Inter-Togolese Dialogue and requests them to continue their efforts for a rapid and lasting resolution of the socio-political situation in Togo and to report to it at its next session.

50. The Conference of Heads of State decides to set up a monitoring committee composed of the representatives of the facilitators, the ruling majority, the coalition of 14 opposition parties and the ECOWAS Commission to follow up the implementation of these decisions.

51. She instructed the ECOWAS Commission to continue supporting the facilitators.

ON THE SITUATION IN THE GAMBIA

52. The Conference welcomes the positive development of the political situation in the country marked by the successful holding of local elections on 12 May 2018. It also welcomes the launch of the National Development Plan (2018 – 2021). and calls on development partners to confirm their pledges of support for this Plan, made at the donors’ conference held on 22 May 2018 in Brussels.

53. The Conference encourages the Government to accelerate the effective and coordinated implementation of the Defense and Security Sector Reform Program.

REGIONAL ELECTIONS

Elections in Mali

54. The Conference commends all the political parties for the peaceful conduct of the electoral process of 29 July 2018. It calls on all political actors to continue to observe a republican attitude and respect for the results of these elections.

FOR TRANSHUMANCE

55. The Conference expresses its deep concern at the increasing number of violent conflicts between pastoralists and farmers as a result of transhumance and strongly condemns the many losses in human life related to these conflicts and the stigmatization of specific categories of the population. It instructs the various actors to implement the measures identified at the Abuja meeting held on April 26, 2018 to prevent and peacefully manage these conflicts.

IN THE MATTER OF INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES

Oath of the President of the ECOWAS Commission and other Statutory Officials within the Institutions of the Community

56. The Conference took note of the oath taken by the new President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean Claude Kassi Brou, and congratulated him on his appointment.

57. The Conference took note of the swearing-in of five (5) new judges at the Court of Community Justice during its opening session.

58. She also congratulated all other statutory officials and encouraged them to pursue the cause of integration and regional development within their respective institutions.

59. The Conference urged the President of the Commission to accelerate the implementation of regional integration programs and projects.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

60. The Conference expresses its gratitude to all ECOWAS development partners for their support for the consolidation of peace, security and regional integration in West Africa.

INSTITUTIONAL REFORM 

61. The Conference took note of the progress made in the institutional reform process of ECOWAS, in particular with regard to the reorganization of Community institutions and agencies, to increase their effectiveness as well as measures implemented. to strengthen internal control mechanisms within all institutions.

62. The Conference instructed the President of the Commission to accelerate institutional reform measures, with a focus on improving the performance and modernizing the Community institutions.

ELECTION OF THE NEW PRESIDENT OF THE CONFERENCE

63. The Heads of State and Government elected His Excellency Muhammadu BUHARI, as President-in-Office of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, for a term of one year. They congratulate President BUHARI and wish him every success in his mission.

DATE AND PLACE OF THE NEXT SUMMIT

64. The next regular session of the Conference will be held on … December 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria. The Conference expresses its sincere congratulations to HE Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé, President of the Togolese Republic, for his unwavering commitment to regional integration and for the exemplary leadership he has shown in the conduct of the affairs of the Community. 

Done at Lomé on 31 July 2018.
THE CONFERENCE

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