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Governance Structure

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) comprises three arms of governance, namely, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. At the helm of the organization structure is the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government. The Chairman is the current Head of State and Government appointed by other Heads of State and Government to oversee the affairs for a period of one year. The Minister in charge of ECOWAS affairs in the country of the Chairman of the Authority automatically becomes the Chairman of Council of Ministers; similarly, that country presides over all other ECOWAS statutory meetings for the year (ministerial and senior level, such as the Technical Committees).

At the helm of the Executive arm of the Community is the President of ECOWAS Commission appointed by the Authority for a non-renewable period of four years. He is assisted by a Vice President and 13 Commissioners.

The legislative arm of the Community is the Community Parliament headed by the Speaker of the Parliament. The administrative functions of the Parliament are directed by the Secretary General of the Parliament. Pending elections by direct universal suffrage in future, parliamentarians are seconded by national Parliaments to the Community Parliament for a period of four years.

The judicial arm of the Community is the Community Court of Justice, headed by the President. They are all seconded by the Supreme Courts of their respective Member States to fill the country positions. The Court ensures the interpretation and application of Community laws, protocols and conventions. The administrative functions of the Court are handled by the Court Registrar who is assisted by other professionals.


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