ECOWAS Council has decided to appoint The Gambia to occupy the presidency for the period of 2022 to 2026.
Gambian diplomat, Dr Omar Alieu Touray will assume the presidency of the ECOWAS Commission in the first week of July 2022.
He will be presiding over a slimmer seven-member Commission as against a 15-Commissioner structure.
The decision was unanimously arrived at by the ECOWAS Council.
It is the first time in the history of the ECOWAS Commission that The Gambia will occupy the presidency.
The position rotates among the member states of the organisation.
However, the new team faces a number of daunting challenges in a region plagued by insecurity, political instability, poor governance systems and leadership deficit as there is urgent need for visionary and effective leadership to salvage the faltering reputation of an organization, which once enjoyed international acclaim for its peace-keeping, conflict management and resolution credentials.
Omar Alieu Touray will occupy the high-profile position. Touray is a Gambian diplomat. He was the Gambia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2007 to 2008 and has been Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Gambia since March 2008.
He joined the diplomatic service of the Gambia, starting as Senior Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before being assigned as Secretary and then Counsellor at the Gambia mission to the European Union in Brussels.
Meanwhile, President of The Gambia, Adama Barrow received the news from EWOWAS Commission with delight, saying it is a sign of the country’s recognition within the sub-region.
He strongly believes that The Gambia had gained more respect among the comity of nations, especially in the sub-region.
Since assuming office in 2017, Barrow has strengthened the country’s democratic credentials, respect for the rule of law and the independence of the institutions of state.
By Vincent Kubi