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New ECOWAS President arrives Abuja

By Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
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ABUJA, Nigeria, March 1, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The new President of the ECOWAS Commission, Ambassador Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, arrived Abuja on Monday, 27th February 2012 to assume duty, ten days after his appointment by regional leaders for a non-renewable four-year term.

Ambassador Ouedraogo, who will replace His Excellency James Victor Gbeho, was received by Vice-President, Dr. Toga Gayewea Mcintosh and some Commissioners.

With the impending assumption of the new President who was appointed during the 40th Ordinary Session of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government that ended on 17th February 2012, the Commission will have the full complement of its new management team.

This includes a new Vice President and six Commissioners, who took over from the pioneer Commissioners earlier this month. The four-year tenure of the seventh pioneer Commissioner for Human Development and Gender expires in June 2012.

Ambassador Ouedraogo brings to his new position a wealth of experience and an impressive public service and diplomatic track record in various capacities.

Until this appointment, he had served as Ambassador and Plenipotentiary of Burkina Faso to the Kingdom of Belgium, The Kingdom of the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland as well as the country's Permanent Representative to the European Union, the Organization for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the World Customs Organization.

Between 1996 and 2000, he was his country's Prime Minister after serving as Minister of Economy and Finance between 1996 and 1997. Before then, he served as Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of West Africa States (BCEAO) in Dakar, Senegal between 1993 and 1996.

Ambassador Ouedraogo is not a stranger to ECOWAS, having served the organization as Deputy Executive Secretary in Lagos between 1985 and 1993 before the organization relocated to Abuja.

A recipient of the award of Grand Officer in the National Order of Burkina Faso in 1996, he was elected Member of Parliament in 1997.

Ambassador Ouedraogo is fluent in French and English, and reads Spanish.