26 Jan, 2021 14:00 am

West Africa: Ecowas Raises Concern Over Growing Terrorism

The Presidents of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have expressed concern over growing terrorism and piracy violation in West Africa sub-region.

The heads of state also reaffirmed their determination to relentlessly combat this scourge and expressed solidarity with the affected member states and their populations.The ECOWAS Presidents were also worried over the state of maritime security and safety in the Gulf of Guinea, noting that the significant contribution of maritime activities to the economic and social development of member states in the region is being jeopardised with the increasing number of illegal activities at sea, including maritime piracy, toxic waste dumping, illegal and unreported fishing.They urged member states to fully implement the measures adopted at national, regional and continental levels to ensure maritime security and safety in the Gulf of Guinea.They also called on member states to ratify the African Charter on Maritime Security and Safety (Lome Charter), which was adopted on October 15, 2016, and promote maritime cooperation among themselves.

They, however, welcomed the entry into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on January 1, 2021 and the ratification of the agreement by 12 out of the 15 ECOWAS member states.They called on member states that are yet to ratify the agreement to do so in order to promote harmonious trade liberalisation in the region and maintain the integrity of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff.

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