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The evolution of the ECOWAS Commission cannot be separated from the ideals of the regional Community itself. From the days when the first formal suggestion for an economic union was made by Liberian president William Tubman up until 1975 when the Lagos treaty eventually brought it to life through the joint effort of the Nigerian leader General Yakubu Gowon and his Togolese counterpart Gnassingbe Eyadema, there had always been a conscious attempt to ensure that the affairs of ECOWAS are administered to the best interest of the citizens of west Africa.

Thus the Ivorien Aboubakar Diaby Ouattara became the very first chief executive officer-the Executive Secretary of ECOWAS from 1977 – 1985. Momodu Munu (Sierra Leone) was in charge from 1985 to 1989. Another Siera leonian Abass Bundu held forth between1989–1993.from 1993 to 1997 Edward Benjamin (Guinea) steered the affairs of the secretariat. He handed over to his country man Lansana Kouyate in 1997 until January 2002 when the Ghanaian Mohammed Ibn Chambas took over.

The transformation of the Executive Secretariat to a Commission happened during this period and so Chambas became the first President of the Commission from January 1 2007 to 18 February 2010. After overseeing the transition, he was succeeded by another Ghanian                 James Victor Gbeho who was on the saddle between 18 February 2010 and March 1 2012.

Kadre Desire Ouedraogo who is from Burkina Faso has been holding the reins since the beginning of March 2012. The ECOWAS chief executive officers presiding either as Executive Secretaries or Presidents, deferred to the supreme organ of the community-the Authority of the Heads of States and Governments for guidance.

Changes have always been initiated since the transition with the support of development partners. These initiatives were boosted by the Heads of State and Government with the wholesome endorsement of the transformation that covers all ECOWAS Institutions.

By subscribing to the vision of the founding fathers of ECOWAS, it can be said that today’s leaders of the community have taken ownership of the grand objectives designed to improve the living conditions of the citizenry, ensure economic growth and create an environment conducive for true development and integration.

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