The second team of the Trade Liberalization Scheme Task Force (ETLS / TF) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was officially inaugurated this Tuesday, December 14, 2021, at the Presidential Palace, in Ouagadougou , capital of Burkina Faso by HE Roch Marc Christian Kabore, President of Faso and Champion of the free movement of people and goods in the ECOWAS region.
Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the new Head of the Task Force and six other personalities were officially inaugurated during a colorful ceremony in the presence of an ECOWAS delegation led by HE Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the Commission, and Mr. Tei Konzi, Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement, Mr. Salifou Tiemtore, Director of the Customs Union and Taxation, Mr. Anthony Luka, Acting Director, Private Sector. Also present were officials and members of the Government of Burkina Faso, as well as many guests.
Speaking at this solemn ceremony, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Jean Claude Kassi Brou, praised the quality of the selection of new members of the ECOWAS SLE / TF team, in particular the selection of the new Chief, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, former President of the ECOWAS Commission and former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel. President Brou thanked the members of the team for accepting this difficult but noble task.
President Brou also declared that the free movement of people and the Intra-Community Trade Liberalization Scheme are major achievements of the ECOWAS regional integration process, while recognizing their fragility due to several obstacles, in particular (i) the persistent fragmentation of trade and monetary policies, (ii) security problems, (iii) loopholes in control administrations, (iv) refusal by certain member states to grant other member states the benefit of the Scheme, (v) the lack of information from stakeholders on community provisions on regional trade, (vi) the establishment of tariff and non-tariff barriers which deliberately slow down the circulation of goods originating in the region, (vii) the propensity of some Member States to take measures to ban the export of food and grain products during food crises, and finally, the m proliferation of checkpoints along the corridors.
“In the exercise of your functions, I urge you to always strengthen the regional integration process in West Africa and, in particular, to ensure the effective and uniform application of the ECOWAS community texts relating to TLS by all member states. I have no doubt that you will put your rich experience at the service of the success of this noble task ”, declared HE Jean Claude Kassi Brou to the seven members of the team.
In his speech, the President of Faso, HE Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, noted that despite the efforts made and the actions undertaken, the free movement of people and goods is struggling to become a reality because of the many obstacles it faces. “The example is the trafficking and other abnormal practices observed in the countries and at the borders of the Community. This situation has been exacerbated by the security and health challenges facing the sub-region, ”said the President of Faso.
President Kaboré said in his speech “particularly satisfied with the holding of this inauguration ceremony which will allow the members of the incoming team to continue and strengthen the efforts already made in terms of the free movement of people and goods. by the outgoing team under the visionary leadership of President Salou Djibo, former head of state of Niger.
The Champion of the free movement of people and goods in the ECOWAS region, HE Mr. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré concluded his speech by saying “… I will do everything possible to support the ECOWAS Commission and all the structures responsible for promoting the ‘integration into the implementation of any initiative in the field of free movement and the establishment of a common market.
Finally, it should be noted that during the ceremony, the seven new members of ETLS / TF Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Kalou Doua Bi, Sola Afolabi, Malamin Sanyang, Djobo Kpandi, Hamid Ahmed and Justin Bayili, were officially presented to the President of Faso by Commissioner Tei Konzi and received their mission letters from President Brou. Certificates of recognition were also issued to members of the outgoing Task Force and particularly to its President, General Salou Djibou, former Head of State of Niger, in recognition of the exceptional services rendered to the Community in the promotion of freedom. movement of people and goods in the ECOWAS region.