China to build new ECOWAS Commission Headquarters

On 13 March, the ECOWAS Commission signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of China for a USD 31.6 million grant to build the new ECOWAS Commission Headquarters in Nigeria’s capital city. The agreement was signed by the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, and newly appointed ECOWAS Commission President Jean-Claude Brou. A growing number of ECOWAS staff members are spread out at three different sites in Abuja, which makes internal collaboration increasingly difficult. The new building will bring all ECOWAS staff under the same roof. The agreement, which comes into force with immediate effect, provides for offices and a conference complex building, as well as road facilities, electrical equipment, parking lots and security posts. The Chinese government will also offer three-years of maintenance services after the construction has been completed. According to the ECOWAS press release, the new headquarters will be of “high-quality” and reflect the “culture and Africaness of member states.” The Chinese government has also built the African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa, worth USD 200 million, as a “gift to the people of Africa.”