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Achievements of ECOWAS at 40

2015 is a special year for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) having reached its fortieth-year milestone.

 

In promoting sustained economic development of the West African region through the implementation of the Community work programme, ECOWAS has laboured to bring about greater entrenchment of democratic culture, enhanced efficiency in dealing with conflicts, crisis prevention and resolution as witnessed in the restoration of stability to Member States caught in conflict over the years.

 

Today at a glance, the interests of more than 300 million citizens of ECOWAS are being served through the accelerated implementation of sectoral programmes for wealth creation.Glimpses of some of the achievements of ECOWAS are contained in a 38-paged annual report presented by president Ouedraogo at the ECOWAS Council of Ministers’ meeting preparatory to the 48th Ordinary Session of the Summit of the Authority of Heads of States and Government as well as the 40th anniversary of ECOWAS slated for the 16th and 17th of December respectively.

According to the president of the ECOWAS Commission, while looking forward to the future, positive strides have been made in the harmonization of macroeconomic policies, the implementation of the Common External Tariff (CET), multilateral surveillance, research and youth empowerment, trade liberalisation, Customs union, favourable industrial policy, mines development, agriculture and environment, infrastructure-transport, telecommunications and energySoon, the Abidjan-Lagos Highway Project under the regional infrastructure development programme would be completed.

There is also the march towards the creation of a single currency by 2020, and the adoption of a single biometric identity card. There now exists a boosted capacity for organising an efficient regional response against challenges such as the Ebola Virus Disease and terrorism.

 

Apart from the institutional reforms which are now putting ECOWAS on a much stronger footing, the West African region has benefitted immensely from the fruits of the Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, which compels political best practices in respect of presidential terms of office as well as the zero tolerance for unconstitutional seizure of power.

Through its electoral assistance mechanism, ECOWAS in 2015 helped in ensuring free, fair and credible elections in the member states of Nigeria, Togo, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso.

The ECOWAS Commission is proud to state other major achievements cutting across all sectors, to include:

  • The adoption of the Macroeconomic Convergence Report by the ECOWAS Convergence Council
  • Establishment of the ECOWAS Monetary Institute (EMI)
  • Adoption of methodological guides for the harmonization of Public Finance Statistics, Government Financial Operations Tables (TOFE), External Trade Statistics, Balance of Payment (BOP) and International Investment Position (IIP).
  • Conclusion of the review of the Sahel Strategy document and its action plan to boost regional security.
  • Formulation of an ECOWAS Common Trade Policy (CTP) and ECOWAS Trade Development Strategy
  • Completion of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the signing by 13 Member States.
  • Custom Union in the offing with the implementation of the CET by Eight Member-States
  • Free Movement of goods and persons boosted with the adoption of the ECOWAS Biometric Identity Card to facilitate mobility and promote security in the region.
  • Drafting of a Regional Border Management Manual for use in immigration/security training institutions.
  • Launching of the Ecolink project, which aims to transform and improve key operations within the ECOWAS Community.
  • The Systems, Applications & Products (SAP) component of Ecolink aims at improving the financial management systems and ensuring real-time information for effective decision-making in the Community Institutions.
  • Promotion of strategic products for food security and sovereignty including combating cross-border livestock disease.
  • Renewed efforts to enhance the environmental governance, general environmental protection, capacity building as well as Sustainable resource management for development in the Member States.
  • Re-award of the contract for the construction of the Sèmè-Kraké Joint Border Post (Benin-Nigeria)
  • Evaluation of tenders completed for the works, contract for final engineering designs for the rehabilitation of sections of the Enugu-Bemenda road between Nigeria and Cameroon and the construction of a Joint Border Post (JBP) and a Border Bridge at Mfum border.
  • Feasibility study for the extension of the West African Gas Pipeline Network concluded
  • Development of Regional Power Market with the setting up of regulatory and economic environment.
  • Promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and services.
  • An ECOWAS Directive on Energy Efficiency Buildings (EEB) aimed at promoting energy efficiency in buildings in ECOWAS Member States has been developed by ECREEE
  • Establishment of a Regional Centre for Disease Control.
  • Maintain and strenghten the actions undertaken to consolidate peace and security in the region.
  • Consolidating the implementation of the, Common Market, Trade Liberalization Scheme (TLS) and the Protocol on Free Movement of persons, goods and services.
  • ECOWAS is now poised in the coming years to intensify efforts aimed at sustaining peace and political stability achieved in 2015 in order to create the best conditions for the development of the region.

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