Ecowas+EUECOWAS and China have agreed to form a strategic consultative mechanism that will provide a holistic framework for defining and implementing their cooperation for greater effectiveness, a statement said.

The statement, issued by ECOWAS Commission spokesperson, Mr Sunny Ugoh, in Abuja on Wednesday, said the agreement was coming barely a month after both parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

It said the parties reached the agreement on Monday during a visit to the commission, led by Mr Lu Shaye, Director-General, African Affairs Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The statement said, “under this MoU, China will provide five million dollars in deployable headquarters equipment to the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF).

“China also offered 200, 000 dollars during the visit for capacity building support to ECOWAS, which was one of the five priorities identified by the delegation.

“It was to enable the organisation realise the objective of its ongoing institutional reform and also repositioning it for greater efficiency.”

The statement said that Shaye called for increased cooperation with ECOWAS to strengthen the ESF through personnel training, joint exercises and material assistance.

Other areas identified by the delegation included enhanced political cooperation, peace and security, fight against terrorism and transnational crime, economy and expansion of trade.

Mr Toga McIntosh, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, lauded the growing relationship between China and ECOWAS.

McIntosh praised China’s support in securing international support for the region’s political initiatives, including the deployment of peacekeeping troops.

The vice-president recalled the recent visit of a Chinese technical team to West Africa in February to evaluate a regional road corridor that required its support for rehabilitation. (NAN)

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