Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been named as the new chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
This was announced during the 49th ECOWAS Heads of State Summit which opened in Dakar, Senegal on Saturday.
She takes over from Senegalese president Macky Sall whose tenure comes to a close after he assumed the mantle from Ghanaian president John Mahama.
Sirleaf’s tenure will run for 12 months and she faces a tough task ahead as she works towards achieving the objectives of the regional community bloc at a time that West Africa is facing rising Islamist insurgency.
The member states urged for more co-ordination in intelligence sharing to counter the rising terror threats.
The leaders also called for a swift resolution to the political impasse in Guinea Bissau and added that they will send a delegation to Gambia’s capital Banjul ahead of elections in November.
Notably absent was Gambia’s president Yahya Jammeh who has been engaged in soured relations with hosts Senegal over a border dispute.
On the economic front, the leaders pushed for discussion on a memorandum on the negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement between West Africa and the European Union.