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Towards a more dynamic cooperation between the ECOWAS Commission and the Islamic Development Bank

Jeddah, February 9 2017

The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group have plans to bolster existing relations, the reason behind the work visit of the ECOWAS Commission President, Marcel de Souza, to the headquarters of the Group in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 6 to 9 February 2017.

The trip comes after a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the ECOWAS Commission and the IsDB in November 2016.

During his trip, Mr. de Souza met with the President of the IsDB, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, two vice presidents of the institution, Dr. Mansur Muhtar and Sayed Aqa, as well as heads of specialised institutions of the IsDB, namely, the Islamic Research and Training Institute, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Investments and Export Credits.

The ECOWAS Commission President also held discussions with the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen.

The various meetings provided Mr. De Souza an opportunity to present the ECOWAS vision and the planned large-scale projects of the Community Development Programme (CDP).

L-R: Dr Abdoulaye Fall , Marcel de Souza, Dr Bandar Hajjar (IBD), Mamadou Traoré (ECOWAS)

Moreover, the meetings also served as an opportunity to advocate for aid in beefing up the financial capacity of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), which will in turn enable the latter to effectively contribute towards the economic development of Member States of the Community.

Commending ECOWAS’ dynamic nature, as a regional economic organisation, the key officers in meeting with the President of the Commission assured the latter of the support of their respective corporations.

Marcel de Souza and his hosts agreed among other things on the IDB and OIC being part of the contact group on economic recovery in The Gambia, assisting with the acquisition of stakes and the funding of certain projects under the EBID portfolio, such as the mobilisation of capital for the regional maritime company “Sealink”.

They agreed to continue discussions with EBID regarding the provision of funding for SME/SMIs-micro finance- Import/Export, support in the transformation of the Commission’s Community Computer Centre into a capacity building and training centre for the development of the ECOWAS.

They also agreed on capacity building assistance in non-exhaustive areas such as statistics, Islamic finance, monitoring – evaluation and analysis of investment projects, project management, not to mention cooperation in the field of research, and monitoring of poverty indicators in line with sustainable development goals (SDG).

Furthermore, the discussions touched on the organisation of an annual meeting between West Africa’s private sector and that of other member countries of the OIC with a view to increasing trade, support for the harmonisation of the legal framework on public-private partnership in West Africa, as well as the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the ECOWAS Commission and the OIC.

It is worth noting that the Commission’s President embarked on this trip to the Saudi capital in company of his Special Assistant, Franck Brathier, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research, Mamadou Traoré, and the EBID Vice President, Operations, Abdoulaye Fall.


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