General News of 2014-07-10

'ECOWAS must work hard to achieve peace and security'

Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma says ECOWAS leaders should work harder, in ensuring sustained peace and security in the sub region.
The issue of peace and security is high on the agenda at the 45th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State and Government, taking place in Accra from July 10-11, 2014.
The growing activities of terrorism in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria and Mali, have become obstacles to democracy and a threat to regional stability.
In an address read on her behalf at the opening session of the summit, Dr. Dlamini Zuma stated that: "Without peace and security there can be no development".
"...we want an Africa that is integrated, prosperous and peaceful to take its rightful place in the world," she emphasised.
The AU Chair urged governments to focus on improving access to energy and transportation as immediate priority to developing "infrastructure and acceleration of our projects".
Other issues to be discussed include the menace of Ebola virus, a recommendation for the introduction of biometric ID cards for all ECOWAS citizens, the abolition of residence permit requirements for all citizens within member states, and the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union.
The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea where so far, 759 people have been infected with the virus and about 467 of them killed, is haunting the sub region and the leaders hope to adopt a uniform plan to combat it.
Health ministers from 11 West African countries last week adopted a common strategy and promised better collaboration to fight the Ebola virus outbreak, one of the world's deadliest to date.
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