Ivory Coast President Becomes The New Head Of ECOWAS

(AFP) – Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara was named the new head of West Africa’s regional bloc, outgoing chief Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria announced Friday before the close of the body’s summit.

“For the chairman of the authority we have also unanimously agreed that the President of Cote d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara,” would take over, Jonathan said at a meeting of the Economic Community of West African States in Abuja.

Ouattara’s election for the rotating position in the 15-nation bloc marks the return to the regional stage of Ivory Coast, recently shaken by deadly violence sparked by a disputed election.

One year ago, Ouattara was largely confined to an Abidjan hotel by his political foe, ex-president Laurent Gbagbo, who had refused to accept defeat after a November 2010 vote.

Gbagbo’s refusal to quit triggered conflict which left around 3,000 people dead before Ouattara took power. Gbagbo is now awaiting trial by the International Criminal Court, accused of crimes against humanity.

Ouattara had been the favourite to take the key job, which carries a one year mandate, from regional powerhouse Nigeria.

“Countries of the region feel they have invested a lot for Ivory Coast and see it as the culmination of their efforts,” said a West African diplomat before the announcement.

He added the move was a way to “encourage reconciliation” in the world’s top cocoa producing country.

  1. Santo Reply

    Barbarity and exploitation are not the sole prorepty of colonialists or Westerners sir. The attitude of conflict that is manifested today between American interests and African interests is the same attitude that has defined humankind for all its history. In Rwanda the Hutus committed mass killing against their countrymen the Tutsis. In countless African countries have Dictators and Military coups claimed lives of as you correctly say, innocent Africans. But the race or status of these deceased as Africans in no way entitles them to exaggerated sympathy. War and death is the trademark of human interaction, you need look no further than the European Wars of the early to mid 20th century for proof of that. War in the traditional sense and the more subtle, economically linked conflicts of the modern era are human problems, not African problems. America will always act in its best interests as any country will and the fact that they are more powerful than African countries and that any power struggle will automatically be skewed in their favour is natural albeit unfortunate. Neo-colonialism as you call it is a symptom of an on-going dominance of a certain economic mindset that was developed by those powers who hold the global chips and have done so for some time. The fact that it benefits some and not others goes without saying and the same would apply to ANY economic theory. So your issue is presumably not the inequality caused by the global adoption of a single theory (capitalism) as that is inevitable but rather with the unfortunate fact that we as Africans are not the ones to benefit. If this is true, and I believe it must be, then I find your attitude unreasonable and unhelpful. I agree completely with the author in that the continued discourse linking the dominance of Western society over not only ourselves but the entire world and especially all 3rd world coutnries to colonialism, a not exclusively similar case of dominance is inflammatory. It helps the situation not at all and furthers the bi-polarisation of relations between states. The way forward is through hard work by Governments, collaboration between states and sound economic development one way or another, not the reopening of old wounds.

Leave a Reply