The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has elected President Nana Akufo-Addo as its the new Chairman in what is a bold gamble, given the uncertainties that could ensue as Ghana heads for its presidential elections in just three months.
The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin shared the new post of the Ghanaian president on his social media page, saying the President was elected at the ongoing 57th ECOWAS Summit, which is being held in Niamey-Niger.
President Akufo-Addo will take over from the Niger President, Mahamadou Issoufou who was elected on June 29, 2019.
President Akufo Addo will therefore be the 35th ECOWAS Chairman since 1975.
ECOWAS heads are often heads of state in member countries exposing a curious timing of President Akufo Addo’s election.
In the 2020 Presidential elections in Ghana which promises to be a keenly contested duel between him and his arch-rival: ex-President John Dramani Mahama of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Political analysts think the election is a toss-up and could go either way. If President Akufo Addo loses the elections, his Chairmanship at ECOWAS may be short-lived, otherwise, he sails through his tenure which is expected to last one year.
Within this period, he will basically run the affairs of the regional body which is one of the most vibrant in the sub-region with some 16 countries covering approximately 5.1 million kilometre square. ECOWAS has a combined population of 349 million who, due to a lack of political will, have failed to properly integrate as the ECOWAS treaties prescribe.
Indeed, as the new control-centre of ECOWAS, Ghana is grappling a potential bilateral and trade war with Nigeria, following the ruthless clampdown of Nigerian businesses in Ghana.
The two countries are currently locked in talks to settle the impasse.