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ECOWAS week celebration ends with cuisine, arts and culture from delegations

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On the last day of the week of activities commemorating the 48th anniversary celebration of the establishment of ECOWAS and the 30th anniversary of the signing, in Cotonou (Benin), of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty, the ECOWAS Permanent Representation in Benin, in collaboration with the Government of Benin and the Union of ECOWAS Nationals in Benin, organised two cultural activities. Each of these activities included a ceremonial session featuring addresses.

1. A culinary exhibition open to the public for free tasting:

Held on the forecourt of the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou, the aim of the event was to showcase the culinary diversity of the twelve ECOWAS member delegations resident in the Republic of Benin. The culinary exhibition featured the presentation and tasting of dishes from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo, and was open to the public.

The opening ceremony of the exhibition took place in the Blue Room of the Palais des Congrès and featured addresses by the President of the Federal Bureau of the Union of ECOWAS Nationals, Mr Issa Boubacar Alpha, the Director of the ECOWAS Gambia National Office, representing the delegation of the Heads of the National Offices of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and Gambia, and the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Benin, H.E.Mr Amadou Diongue. A family photo was taken at the end of the opening ceremony with the women in charge of the culinary exhibition stands.

The second session, devoted to showcasing and tasting the dishes, took place in the blue pavilion of the Palais des Congrès, in a festive atmosphere and in the presence of the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Benin, the representative of the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Arts, members of the diplomatic and consular corps, residents and leaders of delegations in Benin and members of the organising committee.

2. An evening of culture and arts:

On the evening of 28 May 2023, an event dedicated to cultural and artistic display took place in the Blue Hall of the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou, featuring performances by slam artists, comedians, percussion groups and a theatre company, as well as dance and song groups from the various resident delegations of ECOWAS Member States in Benin.

The ceremonial part of the event was dedicated to awarding the winners of the “The ECOWAS Strides” race, which took place on Saturday 27 May 2023 at the Place de l’Amazone with ten schools participating. It featured a welcome address by the President of the Federal Bureau of the Union of ECOWAS Nationals, Mr Issa Boubacar Alpha, a speech by the Head of the ECOWAS National Office of Cote d’Ivoire, representing the Heads of the National Offices of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Senegal and the Gambia, an address by the ECOWAS Resident Representative in Benin, H.E. Mr Amadou Diongue and an opening address by Mr Aristide Adjibodou, Secretary General of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts , representing the Minister.

The second session, reserved for arts and cultural performances, featured guest artists Djarra Sakho, a slam artist and Barboza, a comedian, the EACE and Pepit’Arts theatre groups, and resident delegation groups from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo.

At the end of the cultural event, the Ambassador of Ghana to Benin gave the closing remarks, expressing her satisfaction with the splendid ECOWAS Week celebration.

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