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Ghana's president takes over as head of West African bloc

Published on Mar 29, 2014 9:52 PM
The President of Ghana John Dramani Mahama speaks at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Fundation in Yamoussoukro, on March 29, 2014, at a summit of the 15-nation regional bloc. -- PHOTO: AFP

YAMOUSSOUKRO, Ivory Coast (AFP) - Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama has been elected the new head of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at a summit of the 15-nation regional bloc, his Ivorian predecessor announced on Saturday.

"I am very happy to tell you that yesterday (Friday) my peers... decided to name as head of ECOWAS, my brother and friend John Dramani Mahama, the president of the Republic of Ghana," said Ivory Coast's leader Alassane Ouattara in a speech at the closing of the ECOWAS summit.

Ouattara has wrapped up two one-year terms as head of the West African group during which he dealt with the democratic transition in Guinea-Bissau and the war in Mali.

Ousattara touted his achievements in Mali, which has faced a coup and Islamist insurgency during his tenure.

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