General News of 2014-07-09

Heads of State arrive for ECOWAS Summit

ECOWAS Heads of State have begun arriving ahead of the ECOWAS Mid-Year Summit, which kicks-off on Thursday in Accra.

Presidents Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of Mali and José Mário Vaz of Guinea-Bissau arrived in Accra on Wednesday.

Presidents Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and Alassane Ouatarra of La Cote D'Ivoire have also arrived.

The presidents began arriving about 1100 hours on Wednesday, and a few more are expected to arrive on Thursday.

They were met on arrival by Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and officials of their respective embassies at the Jubilee Lounge of the Kotoka International Airport.

Each president received the presidential salute and inspected a parade mounted by the Ghana Navy.

The presidents also had the opportunity to interact briefly with sections of their citizens in Ghana who were at the airport to welcome them.

The Mid-Year Summit of ECOWAS will consider a report on the Community’s main activities and projects over the first half of this year to be presented by the ECOWAS Commission President, Mr Kadre Desire Ouedraogo.

The summit is also expected to discuss a recommendation for the introduction of biometric ID cards for all ECOWAS citizens and the abolition of residence permit requirements for all citizens within member states, the current Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, as well as other pertinent issues.

In addition to the leaders of the 15 member states, the presidents of three nations bordering the ECOWAS sub-region – Mauritania, Cameroon and Chad – as well as the President of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations have also been invited.