Work started yesterday on a new headquarters for the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, funded by a Chinese grant.
Ecowas president Omar Alieu Touray thanked the Nigerian government for providing the 7ha site on Airport Road, and the government of China for its financial and technical support.
He said the $32m headquarters would improve productivity by consolidating three sites in the city into one.
Ecowas is a group of 15 West African states with a combined population of 350 million. It was set up in 1975 to promote regional trade and peacekeeping.
Cui Jianchun, China’s ambassador to Nigeria and Ecowas, said projects like the commission headquarters “demonstrated China’s sincere determination to support the unity, peace and development of the African region”.
Also present at the ceremony was Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari, who said the project was a symbol of the desire of member states for regional economic integration.
The project was first announced in March 2018 (see further reading).