A Message by the President of EBID on the 49th Anniversary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

A Message by the President of EBID on the 49th Anniversary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Every 28th May, we commemorate a pivotal event, which is the signing of a historic multilateral treaty among the then 16 Member States in Lagos, Federal Republic of Nigeria, followed by the subsequent signing of a revised Treaty in Cotonou, Republic of Benin, on 24 July 1993 by the Heads of State and Government of the 15 current Member States of ECOWAS. This vision of integrating the economies of the sub-region remains one of the most impactful decisions for West Africa to this day.

This year marks the 49th anniversary of the vision of the founding fathers of ECOWAS. The theme “Enhancing Regional Unity, Peace and Security”, pays tribute to the vision of enhancing cooperation by pooling resources and establishing strategic partnerships while leveraging on geographical advantages.

Indeed, the foundation of this desire for economic integration was rooted in the hope of the ECOWAS founding fathers to foster regional development and stability – An ECOWAS of Peoples. This is reflected in the ECOWAS Vision 2050 which aims to build a borderless, peaceful, and prosperous sub-region, where Member States promote wealth creation and poverty reduction.

As part of its mandate, the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) is driving significant change in various sectors, such as energy, agriculture, and infrastructure development, by financing private and public sector initiatives. As of December 31, 2023, the Bank had committed an amount of about USD 4.19 billion to various projects.

However, the global economic landscape remains complex and is fraught with challenges, affecting the overall growth of the sub-region with dynamics leading to volatility in commodity prices and other economic indicators. Yet, these challenges notwithstanding, ECOWAS has shown resilience.

As we celebrate this day, let us be reminded of the saying by Mahatma Gandhi, that “Adversity is the mother of progress”. I urge us all to use these difficult conditions to develop innovative systems and solutions to make our sub-region great.

Long live ECOWAS!

Long Live EBID!

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