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ECOWAS Commission and the “Conseil de l’Entente” step up collaboration on integration

President Ouedraogo confering with Entente boss Patrice KouameThe “Conseil de l’Entente” (Council of Understanding) of West Africa is to step up its collaboration with ECOWAS in order to maximize the benefits of integration for member states within its fold.

This is in furtherance of a charge given to the Council by the Heads of State of five members of the quasi regional group asking the Executive Secretariat of the organization to strongly collaborate with the ECOWAS Commission.

The Heads of state had also directed the Council to extend the same level of collaboration to the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) insisting that matters of economic integration of all states through all layers of engagement is the most important issue in the region as ECOWAS turns 40.

In the disclosures made after a meeting with the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo in Abuja on the 18th of June 2015, the Executive Secretary of the Council Patrice Kouame, said that a cooperation framework has now been established to harness and identify the various areas of economic cooperation which the body wants to implement with ECOWAS.

According to the “Conseil de l’Entente” boss who was accompanied to the ECOWAS Commission headquarters by the Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Projects Mr. Comla Kadje, the Council’s collaboration drive is coming on the heels of its resumption of full activities in 2012

A proposal has been sent to ECOWAS Commission in this regard and the Council is in the process of sending a Mission to Abuja to discuss further the points where definite agreements have been reached.

One of the more significant discussions of the meeting centered on the 12th European Development Fund (EDF). While the 11th EDF is ongoing, Mr. Kouame said part of his assignment in Abuja was to see   what kind of collaboration Entente can have with ECOWAS within the framework of EDF.

The Conseil de l’Entente chief also disclosed that a team from its head office recently met with officials of the European Union (EU) in Brussels on how to advance a common project that is being developed and is necessary to see the possibility of jointly implementing same in the interest of the people of Entente countries.

Mr. Kouame paid tribute to ECOWAS personnel for the good work done so far since its creation stressing that the Council wishes to be part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of the Community.

Headquartered in Abidjan, Conseil de l’Entente comprises Niger, Benin Burkina Faso, Togo, and the host country Cote d’Ivoire, it was set up in 1959 as a promising economic group, principally to engender common financial cooperation among its member states. It is steadily using the common currency provision to galvanise countries under its fold.

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