ECOWAS Chairmanship: Togolese President Faure Gnassingbè Succeeds Liberia’s Sirleaf

The President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbè has been appointed chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). His appointment was announced on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at the 51st Ordinary Session of the Heads of ECOWAS held in Monrovia, Liberia.

The Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu who was in attendance, congratulated the incoming ECOWAS chair. He also seized the opportunity to invite the West African leaders to the Africa-Israel summit to be held in Togo in October.

Also See: Everything about Nana Addo’s Togo Visit

President Gnassingbe takes over from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who was appointed the first female chair of the sub-regional body this time last year (2016). He will serve for the next 12 months.

Faure Gnassingbè is the 4th President of Togo, and has been in power since 2005 after the death of his father, President Eyadéma Gnassingbé. He is currently on his third term as president of the West African country.

President Akufo-Addo Defeat Hoax

Seemingly detractors of Nana Addo who are apparently unaware of the procedures for the ECOWAS chairmanship appointment, succeeded in making a caricature of themselves after they took up a false media publication on the recent appointment.

Per the unfounded news which flooded some news sites on Sunday, President Faure Gnassingbè of Togo defeated President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana in the ECOWAS chairmanship election with votes of 14:2 respectively. The media report had it that 16 West African leaders voted in the election that saw to ‘Nana Addo’s woeful loss’, whereas ECOWAS currently comprises 15 member-states, owing to Mauritania’s exit in year 2000.

Many ignorant Ghanaians, especially supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), fell victims of the hoax as they took to various social media platforms to mock the president for his loss. Nana Addo and NPP sympathisers were however, quick to point out the flaws, laughing the detractors to scorn.

Among the counter critics was musician and popular social media critic A-Plus who took to his Facebook page to throw jabs at the NDC. Below is a screenshot of his post as shared by

Also commenting on the development, Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, pointed out the flaws in the false news, pointing out that at the level of ECOWAS heads of state, issues are decided mostly by consensus instead of votes. She made it clear that there was no vote prior to Faure Gnassingbe’s appointment.

She went ahead to disclose that it was actually President Nana Addo who proposed President Faure amidst unanimous applaud of other leaders present. According to the Minister, it had already been agreed in accordance with Ecowas rules of rotation, that the next chair will come from a francophone country and this time Togo, and so the chairmanship smoothly moved from Liberia to Togo. She concluded by shaming those who started spreading the falsehood, stressing that their propaganda will not “wash”.