The West African Economic Community (ECOWAS) has been having a summit meeting in the Nigerian capital of Lagos.
CU INT Nigerian Head of State General Obasanjo speaking
GV & CUs Heads of State participating listening (6 shots)
CU General Obasanjo speaking
OBASANJO: "Ladies and Gentlemen it is pertinent to ask that at this juncture we must create and sustain the necessary atmosphere for the community to develop. We are all aware that a healthy economic community can hardly develop in an atmosphere of conflict and antagonism. We shall guard against these ills in Africa which has had more than its fair share of world conflict. I think that the collective effort of Africa should be galvanised towards the achievement of real political and economic independence of the region. I am of firm opinion that measures must now be initiated as part of our attempts at community building, to lay a peaceful foundation necessary for the achievement of our economic goal."
The community came into being in May 1975, when 15 West African countries put their signatures to a treaty which aims at creating a common market among more than 124 million people. At the core of the ECOWAS treaty is a customs union which provides for the gradual elimination of tariff is barriers between member states in order to promote free trade flow. The community also aims to promote co-operation and development in all fields of economic activity, particularly in the spheres of industry, transport, telecommunications, energy and agriculture.
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Background: The West African Economic Community (ECOWAS) has been having a summit meeting in the Nigerian capital of Lagos. Nigeria's Head of State General Obasanjo opened the meeting on Friday (21 April) and called on officials from the 16 member states to help promote the necessary atmosphere of harmony and co-operation on which the future success of the community depends.