20 year old Nigeria’s Joy Obasi has emerged winner of the 2009 Miss Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Peace pageant held in southeast Nigeria’s Rivers State
13 other ECOWAS member-states participated in the keenly-contested pageant
Obasi went home with a star prize of a 2009 model of Toyota Corolla car, 5,000 U. S. dollars in cash, an ECOWAS Mantle and other gifts, including a laptop.
The new queen, is the second of five children and a fourth-year student of Biology at the University of Port Harcourt
The first runner-up was Sherilyn Partey of Ghana, who received a cash prize of 3,000 dollars, while Marceline Diop of Senegal got a cash prize of 2,000 dollars for emerging as the second runner-up.
Joy was crowned by the winner of the 2008 Miss ECOWAS Peace Pageant, Miss Fatoumata Diallo, of Senegal.
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, president of the ECOWAS commission, said the role of such pageants as a mechanism for transmitting culture and cementing relations among the people of the region could not be underestimated.
“Culture is undeniably a unifying factor among peoples like us in West Africa with identical cultural values and traits,” the statement quoted Chambas as saying.
According to him, culture created bonds, affinity and unity that enabled the people to overcome obstacles that could ordinarily frustrate integration efforts.
Chambas said the choice of River State as the venue for the competition for the second consecutive edition was predicated on the need to showcase the peace in Rivers.
The Miss ECOWAS Peace Pageant is an initiative of 702 Productions Ltd, an Accra-based events management company, as a platform for promoting peace and the youth agenda of the ECOWAS Commission to the global community.