MFWA congratulates President Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embaló on appointment as ECOWAS Chair

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) extends warm congratulations to President Umaro Mokhtar Sissoco Embaló on his appointment as Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

President Embaló was unanimously elected during the 61st Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Governments held in Accra on July 3, 2022. The Bissau Guinean President takes over the ECOWAS Chair from Nana Addo-Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana who served two terms.

Umaro Sissoco Embaló became President of Guinea-Bissau on February 27, 2020, after the electoral commission confirmed him winner of the country’s December 29, 2021, presidential run-off against Domingos Simoes Pereira.

His unanimous election as ECOWAS Chair is an endorsement of his stewardship of Guinea Bissau over the past two and half years and a manifestation of the confidence of his peers in his ability to steer the sub-regional bloc to peace, stability and economic development.

President Embaló takes over as ECOWAS Chair at a particularly challenging time when the West African region, especially the Sahel zone of Northern Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, continues to battle jihadist insurgency with the threat of a spill-over into Togo and Benin. The sub-region has also witnessed a roll-back of democracy with Guinea, Mali and Burkina Faso recording military coups. The new ECOWAS boss himself survived an abortive but bloody coup attempt on February 1, 2022.

The precarious security situation in the Sahel zones, coupled with the military take-overs, has affected media freedom and restricted civic space in West Africa.

As West Africa’s leading free expression and press freedom advocacy organisation, we are happy to know that President Embaló is prioritising peace and stability during his tenure as the new Chair of ECOWAS. We are confident in his commitment and ability to deliver on his promise and remain ready to work with his Administration to promote peace and democracy in order to foster a more conducive environment for media practice across West Africa.

The Media Foundation for West Africa and its partners wish President Embaló the very best and urge all stakeholders to support him as he embarks on the arduous mission of leading the sub-regional bloc to peace, democracy and stability.

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