Abuja, May 28th , 2020
ECOWAS: 45 Years of Solidarity for the West African people
Established by the Treaty of Lagos on May 28th 1975, The Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS) with its over 300 million citizens able to freely move and reside in any of its 15-
Member States, has been living the dream of its founding fathers – Forging an economically
integrated, prosperous, politically stable and socially liveable region.
The Theme of this year’s anniversary is: 45 years of solidarity for the West African people.
Supplemented by two sub-themes:
Promoting socio-economic and human development together through regional
Combating Covid-19 together in West Africa.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou in his statement to
commemorate the 45 th Anniversary highlighted that ECOWAS Member States have shown
resilience in the past 45 years. Going through political, economic, social and health challenges
together and coming out stronger.
While noting the achievements of ECOWAS, President Brou highlighted that the efforts were
being compromised by insecurity and threat of terrorism in the central Sahel region and North
Eastern Nigeria. This he said led the Community to convene an Extraordinary Summit to deal
with the threat which led to the preparation of a Regional Action Plan adopted in December 2019
by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government.
As the Region is jointly fighting terrorism and assisting the refugees and Internally Displaced
Persons (IDPs), the new threat of the COVID-19 pandemic according to President Brou is
unfolding in health, economic, social, and humanitarian impacts.
According data from the West African Health Organization (WAHO), as of today all ECOWAS
Member States are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic with 30,543 confirmed cases as at May
26 th , 2020, 12,398 recoveries, sadly 655 deaths, and 17,490 active cases.
The ECOWAS Commission and WAHO have been working to support Member States since the
first case of COVID-19 was reported in the Region by providing essential medical supplies and
equipment as well as capacity building.
In past 45 years, ECOWAS has recorded many successes in all domains despite the enormity of the region faces at times.
The Community continues to build on the core elements of the integration project,
including free movement of persons and goods and the right of establishment. Progress has also
been made in the area of democracy and good governance in the Region with the ECOWAS
Electoral assistance programme, and also peace keeping and Regional security through the
ECOWAS Standby Force and Mediation.
President Brou in his statement thanked Continental partners such as the African Union and the
African Development Bank which he said are instrumental in providing an African response to
the crisis. He also thanked international partners including the United Nations, the Bretton
Woods Institutions, the European Union, the G20 and bilateral donors which provided timely
The President also congratulate all staff of the ECOWAS Institutions (Commission, Parliament,
Court of Justice, Groupe Intergouvernemental d’Action contre le Blanchiment d’Argent en
Afrique de l’Ouest (GIABA), West African Health Organization (WAHO), ECOWAS Bank for
Investment and Development (EBID) and Office of the Auditor General). “By sheer dint of hard
work and conscientious devotion to duty, you have collectively moved us further up the road to
realizing the fundamental vision of our Founding Fathers for accelerated economic and social
development in the region, through a process of integration, buttressed by conditions of
political stability, as well as peace and security, thus enabling its citizens to enjoy a shared
and prosperous future”, he said.
A dedicated webpage on the ECOWAS website can be accessed for details of the 45 th anniversary
events through this weblink- https://www.ecowas.int/ecowas-at-45/ while the video containing
the 45 th anniversary message of President Brou can be seen here- https://youtu.be/DyOxVxyxz-E
For more information and updates on COVID-19 across the West African Region, visit our
For more information, please contact:
Directorate of Communication,
Phone: +234 8102507938