President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has unfolded his plans and agenda to deepen trade and investments between countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Tinubu spoke in Guinea Bissau after he was unanimously elected as chair of the 16-nation ECOWAS at the 63rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of States/Governments of the sub-region.
Tinubu, who was attending the meeting for the first time as Nigerian leader, revealed that he would convey a trade and investment summit in October as part of the bid to emphasise the importance of private sector-led economic growth in the sub-region. The summit will be held in Nigeria.
A statement by Tinubu’s spokesman, Dele Alake, quoted the President as saying, “In furtherance of my vision for our region’s economic recovery and growth, Nigeria intends to convene an ECOWAS Extra-Ordinary Summit on Trade and Investment in October 2023.
“The event will provide an opportunity for member states to showcase their potentials and encourage match-making, in order to evolve business cooperation among the various organised private sector within the region.”
Tinubu also called for improved private sector participation in the effort towards the economic development of member states as well as their social integration.
“We would work collectively to pursue an inclusive economic integration, which will be significantly private-sector driven, in order to unlock the vast economic potentials of our region.
“We would actively promote trade, investment, and business cooperation among member states by addressing the barriers impeding intra-regional trade, as well as creating a conducive business environment.
“We must encourage economic partnerships to raise the level of trade and investments in our region, hence facilitating employment creation and sustainable development and prosperity for our citizens.
“To this end, we must look inward and work with our regional economic facilitation platforms such as the Federation of West of West Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI) as well as ECOWAS Trade Organisation Network to attain our desired goals,” he said.
The new ECOWAS Chairman also called for collective action from member states, pledging that under his leadership, frameworks would be harmonised to actualise the dreams of the sub-regional body.
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