The ministers of trade from the ECOWAS sub-region have moved to strengthen economic integration among member states by urging them to adopt and present a common position based on regional instruments at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) negotiations.
The ministers reached this position during the regional meeting in Abuja, to deliberate on trade policies like European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the ECOWAS Common Trade Policy (CTP).
The president of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, who was represented by the commissions’ vice-president, Finda Koroma, stated that the meeting showed the shared objective of member states of delivering the region from poverty, food insecurity and entrenching prosperity.
The ministers called on the ECOWAS Commission to ensure better coordination of the positions of member states with the view to preserving the gains in regional integration efforts.
On the EPA, the ministers called for more flexibility on the part of the EU to encourage acceptance of the agreement by the 16 West African States.
Mr. Ludwig Kirchner, head of the GIZ support programme to the ECOWAS Commission hailed their commitments.