President’s Message for Ecowas Day 2023
Today, May 28, 2023 marks the 48th anniversary of the signing of a historic multilateral treaty by 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 current 15 member states. Their decision to formally integrate the economies of the sub-region remains to this day one of the most impactful decisions taken for West Africa.
The Lagos Treaty brought to life the vision of the founding fathers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) who hoped to foster socio-economic progress to improve the wellbeing of the peoples of the community, and recognized critical importance of regional integration to achieve this goal. Today, the ECOWAS Vision 2050 continues to build towards a sub-region without borders, peaceful and prosperous, where member States can share their resources and contribute to a regional value chain to transform raw materials for export while building wealth and reducing poverty.
The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) plays a catalytic role in ensuring economic advancement in the Community by financing private sector projects as well as public sector development initiatives in various sectors. Within this framework, the Bank has funded a total of 294 projects as at December 31, 2022 for a total committed amount of approximately USD 3.7 billion and remain committed to providing resources for the region.
Our subregion and the African continent in general have been tested in recent years by the various crises that have taken place especially the Covid-19 pandemic and the fallout from the Ukraine-Russia war, both of which have adversely impacted economic growth. However, ECOWAS has shown resilience and continues to bounce back despite these challenges.
This year’s theme “Towards Shared Prosperity”, refers to the vision of the founding fathers to improve the wellbeing of all the vulnerable populations in the community by pooling resources, integrating our infrastructure facilities, and leveraging on our geographical advantages. Today, I urge us to dedicate ourselves to pushing forward to achieve our common goal of an inclusive and prosperous West Africa united by our core principles of equality, solidarity, and accountability.
Long Live ECOWAS!