Nigeria’s President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been elected as the new Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The announcement was made at the 63rd Ordinary Session of the regional bloc held in Bissau, the capital of Guinea-Bissau.
Tinubu, who assumed the Nigerian presidency in May 2023, succeeds President Umaro Sissoco Embaló of Guinea-Bissau. This marks Tinubu’s first international outing on the African continent at an ECOWAS meeting. His election to the chairmanship of ECOWAS is seen as a significant milestone in his presidency.
The ECOWAS Chairmanship is a position held by one of the heads of state or government of the member countries, chosen on a rotating basis for a one-year tenure. The role, while not conferring executive powers, plays a strategic part in conflict resolution, advocacy, and liaising with the President of the ECOWAS Commission, responsible for the day-to-day management and implementation of ECOWAS policies and decisions.
The summit of the ECOWAS heads of state is expected to address memoranda on pressing sub-regional issues, including a report of the 50th ordinary session of the mediation and security council covering security challenges faced by the member countries. Reports on the financial situation of the body, the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and the status of transition in Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea are also on the agenda.
Tinubu’s election has been met with widespread approval. Former Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, who held the ECOWAS chairmanship position from 2018 to 2019, congratulated Tinubu on his new role. Buhari expressed his elation at the news and emphasized the importance of supporting Tinubu in his new role.
As the new ECOWAS Chairman, Tinubu will be tasked with addressing the various challenges faced by the 15 member states, including security issues, economic development, and the implementation of the AfCFTA. His leadership will be crucial in steering the region towards stability and prosperity.
In recent news, Tinubu was unanimously endorsed by West African leaders as the new chairman of ECOWAS. His commitment to democracy and good governance has been highlighted as a key strength in his new role. As he takes the helm of ECOWAS, the eyes of West Africa and the world will be on him, watching how he navigates the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.