Federica Mogherini, the Vice President of the European Union (EU) Commission has stated that democracy has taken root in the West Africa subregion even though more effort needed to be exerted to consolidate the gains chalked so far.
Mogherini, who is also the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security was delivering her remarks at a meeting of regional leaders during a summit in Liberia over the weekend.
‘‘This part of the world is a source of hope for Africa and for the world as such. As democracy continues to spread here in West Africa, free elections have become a common feature, peaceful transitions of power are not an exception any more. Democracy has taken root in West Africa among the people of West Africa.
Just a few years ago, democracy seemed to be under threat in this region but you have fought for your democracies, for your freedoms, both as individual nations and as a community of states.
‘‘Just a few years ago, democracy seemed to be under threat in this region but you have fought for your democracies, for your freedoms, both as individual countries and as a community of states,” she said.
She singled out the impact that leaders in the region made to avoid a post-election crisis in the Gambia and lauded Sirleaf for her efforts.
“The events in The Gambia have given us hope: that democracy can win, and it can win with peaceful means. It is a success story that still needs all our support, and you can count on the EU support, fully,” she stressed.
Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met in Liberia to discuss issues of security and diplomacy. They also elected a new leader of the bloc. Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbe was elected to replace Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
A major talking point at the summit was the attendance of the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who did a lot of diplomatic work as well as announced that his country was going to open two trading hubs in West and East Africa.