In a teleconference on Thursday, 13 West African leaders, including President Muhammadu Buhari, called for the cancellation of the region’s debts to enable it weather the storm of coronavirus pandemic.
The extraordinary summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) reviewed the effect of the pandemic on their economies.
The Chairman of ECOWAS and President of Niger Republic, Alhaji Mahamadou Issoufou, highlighted the devastating effects of the virus on human and economies of the member-states.
He called for collaborative efforts among the member-states to combat the pandemic, which he observed, had already claimed many lives in the region and beyond.
The ECOWAS chairman, who spoke in French language, pleaded for a total debt cancellation for African countries to enable the continent to survive the post-coronavirus era.
He commended World Bank and Africa Development Bank (AfDB) for their contributions so far towards fighting the spread of coronavirus.
Issoufou urged the two financial institutions to do more for the African continent so as to save more lives.
In his remarks, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel (SRSG), Mr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, reiterated the determination of the UN to continue to partner with the African Union the ECOWAS in fighting the virus.
He also called for debt cancellation for African countries as part of palliatives to cushion the effects of the virus on their various economies.
ECOWAS Secretariat in Abuja released the detail of the summit in Abuja.
By Tanko Mohammed