INTRODUCTION The newly-appointed Secretary-General of the Economic Community of West African States -- ECOWAS -- has completed his marathon seven-day tour of ten member nations.
INTRODUCTION The newly-appointed Secretary-General of the Economic Community of West African States -- ECOWAS -- has completed his marathon seven-day tour of ten member nations. Monsieur Diaby Ouattara, whose appointment was announced a month ago (5 January), is a former regional director of the West African Development Bank.
SYNOPSIS: Ghana is one of the four English-speaking members of the 15-nation community, which came into being in June 1975.
In Accra, Mr. Quattara called on Ghanaian head of state General Ignatius Acheampong. Ghana has just been given a European Development Fund multi-million-pound loan for a hydro-electric project.
Ouagadougou, capital of the Upper Volta, and a meeting with President Sangoule Lamizana. M. Ouattara, who was with the West African Development Bank for ten years, was schooled in France. In the United States, he obtained a business degree at Harvard University. He was born in the Ivory Coast.
In Nouakchott, M. Ouattara and Mauritanian President Moktar Ould Daddah were joined by the Mauritanian minister of finance and planning. M. Quattara was accompanied by the Finance Director of ECOWAS, Mr. Romeo Horton of Liberia.
In Senegal, President Leopold Senghor's government recently announced its fifth four-year economic plan. ECOWAS's basic function is to help its members develop their economic activity. Senegal's latest plan concentrates on rural development.
Guinea-Bissau, and a meeting with President Luiz Cabral. The largely-agricultural nation, never wealthy, saw its economy reduced to chaos in the guerrilla war against Portuguese administration. ECOWAS has a development fund to help its poorer members.
In mali, President Moussa Traore welcomed his visitors personally. ECOWAS, which is operating out of temporary offices in Togo and Nigeria, is looking for a site to establish a permanent secretariat. This would be a useful source of revenue to the eventual host country.
The final stages of a hectic tour -- a call on President Ahmed Sekou Toure of Guinea. M. Ouattara was originally nominated for his post by President Felix Houphouet-Boigny of the Ivory Coast, current chairman of ECOWAS by rota.