The micro-state of Cape Verde, which has for years tuned up its nose at both ECOWAS and the African Union and claimed to be “not African” which for decades has grabbed with both hands all that ECOWAS had to offer but never given back, is now lobbying to be installed as the ECOWAS Presidency in October.

What is absolutely galling about Cape Verde’s lobbying for the ECOWAS Presidency is the fact that it believes the position is it’s as a right.

Truly a mouse that wants to be heard! But what sound will be heard? The squeak of Cape Verde or will the sound the emanates be that of the mighty bald-headed eagle? Or will it be the voice of Portugal?

It is rumoured that more than half of the Cape Verde cabinet hold Portuguese passports.

Cape Verde has spent most of the past year attacking the legitimacy of ECOWAS’s most
respected institution, namely the ECOWAS Court of Justice.

The ECOWAS Revised Treaty, a
treaty which Cape Verde has signed, is very clear that the both the jurisdiction and decisions of the Court are binding on all Member States.

Cape Verde has twice in the past year openly disobeyed rulings handed down by the Court.

There again there is the issue of arrears. For most the past few decades Cape Verde has not met its financial obligations to ECOWAS. It is only in the last couple of years that it has begun to make paltry contributions and that, too, only in the hope of justifying its assumption of the ECOWAS Presidency.

ECOWAS has spent considerable amount of time carving out its own unique West African identity and the region is on the cusp of significant economic and political integration.

Cape Verde cannot be permitted to assume any form of regional leadership position until it is clear that in assuming any such role it would be truly representing the aspirations and needs of the people of West Africa and not perpetrators of past and present hegemony.

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