Press Releases


ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate Holds Retreat to Strengthen Competences of Field Monitors

13 Jun, 2023

Saly, 30 May 2023 – The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Early Warning Directorate (EWD), held Retreat of Field Monitors from all 15 ECOWAS Member States from 29 May to 02 June 2023 in Saly, Senegal.


The ECOWAS Early Warning (ECOWARN) System, established in 2005, comprises a dedicated team of field reporters stationed across all 15 Member States and analysts at the Headquarters’ Situation Room. This human component plays a crucial role in providing real-time qualitative analysis of the peace and security situation in the region, thereby ensuring that decision-makers and relevant stakeholders of the ECOWAS peace and security architecture are well-informed about potential challenges to human security across West Africa.


ECOWARN enables the collection of precise, real-time data that enhances policy-making and facilitates swift and appropriate responses to emerging or escalating threats. Over the past decade, the system has identified its greatest challenge as bridging the gap between alert and response, particularly in the face of increased security risks associated with emerging threats.


To address this challenge, the ECOWARN system has adopted a quantitative and qualitative approach to data collection and analysis. This approach involves the systematic collection of measurable, accurate, and verifiable information, followed by a comprehensive analysis of the socio-economic, political, and security situations within the ECOWAS region. Field Monitors play a crucial role in this process and receive yearly training to ensure their proficiency in utilizing the ECOWARN Field Reporter application.


In his opening remarks the Dr. Abdou Lat Gueye (Director of the Early Warning Directorate, EWD) of the ECOWAS Commission highlighted the value the field monitors add to the ECOWARN system. He explained: “Every reporter is reporting about their own country to the country to resolve any disparities challenging sustainable peace”.


ECOWARN system is organized around five thematic sectors, namely crime and criminality, security and violent extremism, governance and human rights, health, and the environment.


The Retreat of Field Monitors aims to achieve several objectives. It seeks to provide insights into the ECOWARN structure, scope, modules, and operability, as well as foster knowledge management among ECOWARN stakeholders. Furthermore, the retreat addresses the challenges posed by the exploitation of open sources including social media and the proliferation of fake news.


This retreat is jointly funded by the ECOWAS Commission and through the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations Project, which receives co-funding from the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


The ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate remains committed to enhancing peace and security in the West African region through its robust early warning system. The retreat will play a vital role in strengthening the capabilities of Field Monitors and ensuring effective responses to emerging challenges.


For media inquiries or further information, please contact:

Director Early Warning

Organization: ECOWAS Commission


Name: Lilian Seffer

Title: Advisor Early Warning and Gender

Organization: Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH


Member States