H.E. Mr. Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo
President of the ECOWAS commission
My duties as President of the ECOWAS commission is to ensure peace, stability and democracy in prosperous economic development, and also full cooperation and integration between our member states.
In 2015, ECOWAS celebrated its 40th anniversary.
Over those 40 years, the Community had been able to achieve, among other things, the movement of goods and persons across borders, promotion of economic integration across the region, played a frontline role in resolving conflicts and ensuring good governance in the region, unifying the fight against epidemics and other health-related issues as could be seen during the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease. The ECOWAS has recorded concrete achievements over the years, which had made it a universally acclaimed regional economic community model.
I still see some challenges to overcome to strengthen our relations with Japan in the areas of:
- Maintain peace, stability and a conducive environment to economic investment.
- Create a borderless market at the regional level. In order to do so we should implement a good infrastructure network, telecommunication support, and an energy network.
- The language barrier still remains an issue. We are strongly encouraging our business people to learn Japanese but also the Japanese business community to learn French, English and Portuguese (three official languages in the ECOWAS region).
In the next 40 years, we will keep working hard on overcoming all these challenges in order to intensify business exchanges between our region and Japan.
Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo
Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo has been President of the ECOWAS commission since February 2012. He attended the Forum and told us about the main challenges to overcome to create a successful business environment for Japan and West Africa.