Akufo-Addo: President Bassirou Faye to aid in resolving ECOWAS pullout of three nations


President Akufo-Addo expressed confidence that the newly inaugurated President of Senegal, Bassirou Diomaye Diakhar Faye, will leverage his influence in Senegal and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to address the recent withdrawal of Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali from the regional organization.


In January 2024, Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso announced their departure from ECOWAS, citing their suspension by the bloc and insisting that their withdrawal was a “sovereign decision.” These countries, founding members of ECOWAS since its establishment in 1975, criticized the organization for drifting away from the ideals of its founders and the spirit of Pan-Africanism.


Tensions have escalated between ECOWAS and the three nations following military coups in Niger in July 2023, Burkina Faso in 2022, and Mali in 2020. ECOWAS has consistently called for these countries to return to civilian rule.


During a press briefing at Jubilee House on Friday, May 17, 2024, after bilateral talks as part of President Faye’s official visit to Ghana, President Akufo-Addo noted Faye’s commitment to reintegrating the three countries into ECOWAS.


“His election was a source of reassurance to all of us who are interested in the democratic future of our region and of our continent. It appeared at one time as if Senegal’s reputation as a country committed to the principles of democratic accountability, respect for human rights, and rule of law, was being jeopardized,” President Akufo-Addo stated. “But fortunately, good sense prevailed, elections were held, and out of the elections, Bassirou Faye emerged as the clear convincing winner. The manner in which he ascended to the presidency has brought peace and unity to his country. Senegal is going to play a very important role in the development of the ECOWAS community.”


Akufo-Addo continued, “We are lucky to have a new leader in place because I think he is also going to help us to try and resolve the big problem that we have in the ECOWAS community, and that is the purported departure of three of the key nations in ECOWAS: Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali. President Faye is very committed to seeing what he and the rest of us can do to reach out and revive the dialogue that would enable us to extend the hand of friendship and brotherhood to these three countries and find a way to bring them back within the ECOWAS community.”


President Bassirou Diomaye Diakhar Faye, speaking in French, thanked President Akufo-Addo for attending his inauguration in April and for the support and friendship extended to him. He accepted the challenge to help reconcile Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger with ECOWAS. Upon his arrival at Jubilee House, Faye inspected a guard of honor and later participated in a state banquet hosted by President Akufo-Addo.


Before leaving Jubilee House, President Faye signed the guest book, and the Majority Leader and MP for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, saw him off at Kotoka International Airport.

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