Monday, March 9, 2015

#ECOWAS@40Podcast -- Ep.7: #AUPlottoKillAUChair, #SouthSudanStillaHeadachetoAU, #LesothoVotes, #Ibelong, #Statelessness

Ecowas@40Podcast – 3 March, 2015

Welcome to the 7th edition of the Ecowas@40Podcast, where we give you insights into all that is ECOWAS.

The ECOWAS@40Podcast is divided into four parts. We start off with an overview of what stories are trending under ECOWAS/West Africa/the AU. We then move on to what ECOWAS and/or AU accounts are tweeting. Third, we give listeners an ECOWAS Fact; and, finally, “What’s my ECOWAS Beef?” where I offer candid views on a trending topic. In today’s edition, we are looking at events the Show is involved in one may have missed.

No matter how hard we try, it is difficult to exclude AU news from an #ECOWAS@40Podcast. The two are inextricably linked. No surprise why AU, therefore, dominates intro this week. Last week, we touched on the nettlesome issues around #SouthSudan. This week, another AU migraine: intelligence documents leaked to some media houses reveal spies in Addis being alerted to a plot by “an unnamed state” to kill a top AU diplomat, which we now know to be the AUC Chair – back in 2012, and days after being appointed.

Let’s take a look at some of the tweets with the highest RTs:
1.     8RTs – Daily Nation tweets about spy cables reveal threat on life of AU’s Chief
2.     8RTs – @SmithinAfrica tweets :Muchena: we should not lower the bar of expectation for the African Union to protect all citizens on the continent
3.     3RTs -- @Smith_RFKennedy: “whoa. Spy cables reveal alleged plot by #Sudan to assassinate Au Chair Dlamini-Zuma”
4.     3RTs -- @total_433 (Fisseha Tegegn): “documents show South African & Ethiopian agencies in crisis, suspected Sudan, amid reported 2012 plot to kill AU Chief”

Still sticking with AU, there were some high RTs around #LesothoDecides:
1.     13RTs – Nomsa Maseko(@nomsa_maseko): “#Lesotho AU mission encourages parliament to undertake constitutional reforms…to address role of the opposition, police and army…says Odinga”
2.     6RTS – Nomsa : “#Lesotho AU Mission noted delays in counting at some polling stations. AU visited more than 100 polling stations on Saturday…”
3.     5RTs – still on Nomsa “#Lesotho AU has noted peace on election day. Ballot paper branding/printing raised suspicion among voters.”
4.     7RTs – still on Nomsa “#Lesotho There are only 11 high court judges and this is greatly inadequate”
5.     8RTs – still on Nomsa “AU notes that #Lesotho’s constitution does not clearly articulate the role of the opposition”

Back to the sub-region:

The story with the highest RT is that by:
1.     69RTs – by @UN : “at UN-backed meeting, #WestAfrican states commit to ending statelessness”
2.     37RTs -- @Refugees: “Thanks to @rokiatraore for supporting #Ibelong campaign to end statelessness”

Ecowas account on twitter has 39 followers; it is not following anyone yet. It has tweeted 17 times since its first tweet on 10 February. The month of February was its busiest, with the last tweet being 3 days ago. This can only be considered encouraging news. We encourage it to get more active beyond tweeting website URLs!

Towards the implementation of the Decisions taken by Authority at its 42nd Ordinary Session in Yamoussoukro on 27-28 February 2013 with regard to the adoption of a 15-member Commission, the Summit decided to allocate statutory positions in accordance with new structure of the Commission.
This means:
1.      There have been 15 Commissioners since 2013, representing each of the ECOWAS Member State.
2.      The ECOWAS Commission President is from Burkina Faso; Vice-President Mackintosh Liberia. Can anyone guess which Commissioner position Ghana occupies? Stephen Nartey is ECOWAS Commissioner for General Administration and Conferences. This basically means he is in charge of that portfolio, pretty much like a Minister is to a West African civil service.
The importance of following what our Commissioners are up to is to ensure we hold them accountable for the portfolio they supervise. If we can hold our Ghanaian Ministers accountable, must we not begin to hold Stephen Nartey accountable for the work he is doing at ECOWAS in your name? At the end of the day, you and I pay for ECOWAS (something we will be discussing in next week’s show) through article 72 of the ECOWAS Treaty, which instituted the ECOWAS Community Levy. We will be telling you more about that next week. Stay tuned till then!


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