The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has called for total debts cancellation for African countries so that the continent could be able to survive the effect of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.
This was one of the issues that dominated the extraordinary summit of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, which was held via teleconference and monitored from the State House in Abuja on Thursday.
President Muhammadu Buhari also participated in the summit, which was conveyed by the regional leaders to deliberate on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chairman of the ECOWAS and President of Niger Republic, Alhaji Mahamadou Issoufou, raised the alarm over the devastating effects of the deadly virus on human and economies of member-states.
He, therefore, called for collaborative efforts among the member-states to combat the pandemic, which he said had already claimed many lives in the region and beyond.
The Nigerien president, who spoke in French language, was also the one who raised the advocacy for total debts cancellation for African countries to.
Issoufou, while noting the World Bank (WB) and the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) for their contributions towards keeping the human race safe against the ravaging pandemic, charged them to do more for African countries and save more lives on the continent.
The President of ECOWAS, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou had earlier in April in a statement announced financial donations and equipment to its member states in support of their fight against the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic.
Kassi Brou reaffirmed the commission’s solidarity with member states as they battle to contain the COVID-19 scourge.
Also speaking at the event, 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 deadly Coronavirus.
He also called for debt cancellation for African countries as part of palliatives to cushion the effects of the virus on their various economies.
About 13 ECOWAS leaders, including President Muhammadu Buhari, are participating in the teleconference as at the time of filing this report