Economic Community of West African States has said it was yet to decide on the request by the Kingdom of Morocco to be a member of ECOWAS.
The President of the Commission, Jean Claude Brou, disclosed this while fielding questions from members of the ECOWAS Parliament after presenting the status of the community to the legislative arm during its 2018 First Ordinary Session in Abuja.
Contrary to reports by some African media, Brou said that the request of Morocco was only agreed to in principle in 2016 at the 51st meeting of the Conference of Heads of States.
The ECOWAS Commission boss however disclosed that the Conference thereafter set up a committee to carry out an analysis on the impact and implication of Morocco joining the Sub-regional body.
Jean Claude Brou stated that upon the submission of the report in 2017 at the 52nd meeting of the Conference, the heads of state still asked for more work to be done and appointed Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea and Cote d’Iviore to conduct more analysis on the implication of Morocco’s membership.
The report is billed to be submitted to the Heads of State at their next meeting in June.
Below is the full text of the translation of the speech of the ECOWAS Commission President, who spoke in French.
“During the 51st Ordinary Summit of the Head of States and Government (HOSG) in Abuja, an agreement in principle was given for Morocco to join ECOWAS.
“Following that principle, and during the states summit in Monrovia, ECOWAS was asked to carry out a report on the impacts and the possible implications of Morocco joining ECOWAS.”
“The report was considered during the 52nd Summit of Head of States held last December in Abuja. We were asked by the Head of States to deepen that report, and a committee was set up including Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and Cote d’Iviore to supervise that study. We are at that stage where we are deepening that study. And during the forthcoming meeting of the heads of states, we are going to give them the status report.”
“This issue is being followed closely by the Head of States, and we will make sure that we do our bit and send the status report to the heads of states, and work with governments to supervise the study, and submit to the heads of states during their next meeting.”