Ahead of the meeting of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) on 30 July 2018 in Lomé, Togo; Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Alie Kabba will join other Ministers of Foreign Affairs and those in charge of Defence or Security to consider and adopt the draft Declaration and the draft joint final communiqué to be issued at the end of the joint summit of leaders of the two Regional Economic Communities.
The Ministerial meeting will take place on 28 July 2018 and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is expected to meet with his counterpart Foreign Affairs Ministers to discuss the security situation in the two Communities, as well as bilateral and regional initiatives to combat terrorism and violent extremism.
It is no secret that illegal cross-border activities, including terrorism, money laundering, violent extremism as well as trafficking in arms, persons and drugs are common security threats in Central and West Africa.
These threats hinder peace, security and stability, and undermine the development efforts of ECOWAS and ECCAS Member States.
In order to address the challenges, the two regional economic organisations have respectively taken legal and/or political measures to prevent or specifically respond to these threats.
The joint meetings of experts and Ministers, and the summit of Heads of State and Government of the two regional institutions will consolidate the joint efforts made by the two regions since 2015.
It should be noted that ECCAS comprises 11 countries, which are: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central Africa, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Sao Tome and Principe and Rwanda.
ECOWAS, on the other hand, is made up of 15 Member States, which are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.
Representatives from the African Union United Nations, Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), the United Nations Office for Central Africa (UNOCA), the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), the G5 Sahel, the Commission of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission will also attend the meeting.