ECOWAS pleads with Akufo-Addo to bring back Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso

The Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) has called upon President Akufo-Addo to help stop Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso from exiting the Commission.

“Your leadership will also be required in the area of bringing the three countries that have indicated their intention to leave ECOWAS.

“We believe ECOWAS needs to continue to engage them because their exit from ECOWAS threatens us in more than one way.”

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Omar Alieu Touray, led a delegation to Jubilee House on Monday, May 20, 2024 to seek an audience with President Akufo-Addo on issues of terrorism in the region and the bloc’s counter-terrorism measures.

President Akufo-Addo (middle), Omar Alieu Touray, (2nd from right), President, ECOWAS Commission with other members of the delegation after a meeting at Jubilee House.

Mr. Omar Alieu Touray mentioned that the exit threatens security, explaining that security cannot be strengthened without having all hands on deck.

He also said that the exit of the three countries from ECOWAS threatens governance in the region, explaining that unconstitutional activities could emanate and that the same may have the support of the people.

Describing these countries as the main epicentre of counter-terrorism, the ECOWAS Commission President reiterated the need for President Akufo-Addo to help “bring them back to ECOWAS.”


The President of the ECOWAS Commission briefed President Akufo-Addo on the outcomes of the various meetings recently on counter-terrorism.

He said that on the instructions of the heads of state, meetings with Chiefs of Defence Staff and some ministers have been held to strategise on activating ECOWAS security standby forces.

The meetings were also to review ECOWAS’ counter-terrorism plan of action, which ends this year, but has not yielded many positive results.


According to him, the various meetings generated some recommendations, including establishing a standby force for the region, consisting of 5,000 men with a budget of $2.4 billion.

The other proposal was to have a brigade of 1,500 personnel, budgeted at $1 billion.

In 2021, the ECOWAS Heads of State collectively appointed President Akufo-Addo as the champion of counter-terrorism.

The ECOWAS wants President Akufo-Addo to help the Commission raise funds, either internally or with partners, to cater for the budget of any of the proposals that may be adopted.


The three countries; Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso, who are being ruled by military leaders, have announced their exit from ECOWAS, following the overthrow of the respective governments and the measures ECOWAS took thereafter.

Per the guidelines of ECOWAS, any member who intends to exit would have to give a year’s prior notice.

In the case of the three, the notice ends on January 29, 2025 a date on which the ECOWAS wishes President Akufo-Addo could intervene for the countries to rescind their decision.


In his response, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo established the need for a meeting among all Heads of State to clarify the parameters for drawing the counter-terrorism strategy.

President Akufo-Addo in a handshake with Omar Alieu Touray, (left), President ECOWAS Commission at Jubilee House.

He acknowledged that since there was consensus among member states to fight terrorism, action should not be procrastinated.

President Akufo-Addo has since asked the ECOWAS Commission to organise a special summit for the Heads of State to meet and agree on the modalities.

“But nevertheless, this cannot be a Ghanaian initiative. It has to be an ECOWAS-wide initiative, and I feel that for us to have real clarity going forward, we need there to be an agreement amongst the Heads of State as to our strategy going forward,” President Akufo-Addo remarked.

“It is on that basis that we can flesh out the other matters that you have talked about,” President Akufo-Addo added.


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