The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has a new leader in the person of Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari. The leadership of the bloc revolves annually among heads of state. Buhari was chosen to lead the regional political bloc at the end of a summit in the Togolese capital of Lome on July 30.
The responsibilities of M. Buhari as ECOWAS chairman:
to be responsible for the general direction and control of the community and to ensure its progressive development and the realisation of its objectives;
to work with the Authority to determine the general policy and major guidelines of the community and to give directives;
to work with the Authority to harmonise and co-ordinate the economic, scientific, technical, cultural and social policies of member states;
to convene an extraordinary session of the Authority or at the request of a member state provided that such a request is supported by a simple majority of the member states (the Authority meets at least once a year in ordinary session);
to ensure harmonious relationship among the member states;
to oversee the functioning of community institutions and follow-up implementation of community objectives and to prepare and adopt its rules of procedure.
In a press statement released by the Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari promised to bring ECOWAS to greater heights. "I am truly humbled and pledge to serve and work with all of you to deliver on peace, security, good governance and socio-economic development of the sub-region," the president said.