Flags of Ecowas member states

Adebayo Obajemu

The Presidents of ECOWAS countries are calling for the cancellation of all debts owed by African countries.

They made the call on Thursday at the opening session of the ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit where the leaders made their various contributions via a video conference call.

The teleconference, which had President Muhammadu Buhari in attendance, was presided over by the President of the Republic of Niger and Chair of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, Mahamadou Issoufou.

President Issoufou made the statement on behalf of the ECOWAS leaders in attendance before the meeting went into a closed-door session.

Meanwhile, the ECOWAS presidents have appointed President Buhari as the Champion of the COVID-19 response.

The President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement at the end of the meeting.

During the teleconference, President Buhari had called on fellow ECOWAS leaders to look beyond the challenges posed by the COVID -19 pandemic and tap into various opportunities it has presented for the betterment of lives in member states.

“In every challenging situation such as the current one, there are also opportunities,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

The President added, “Our region must, therefore, seek to find those opportunities provided by this gloomy global outlook for its benefit by embarking on the implementation of such critical policies, which before now, will be difficult to accept.”

He called on his colleagues to intensify collaboration in order to save the region from the pandemic by sharing their experiences and best practices.

President Buhari also highlighted some of the measures taken by his government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.