Twitter Facebook Youtube
ECOWAS seeks the cooperation of development partners in addressing infrastructural deficits
L-R ECOWAS Vice President Singatey, President de Souza and Ambassador Karlsen

Abuja, 8th November 2017. The ECOWAS Commission is seeking the cooperation of her Development Partners in addressing the infrastructural deficits confronting the region just as it wants their support for the institutional reforms being embarked upon to strengthen the administration of integration policies, programmes and projects.

At the opening of the 12th annual ECOWAS-Development Partners Coordination Meeting on the 8th of November 2017, in Abuja, Nigeria, the president of the ECOWAS Commission Marcel de Souza intimated that the Community expects the cooperation with the Development Partners to enhance the regional integration process “in a dynamic and constructive spirit”

The meeting is meant among others, to strengthen political dialogue around the ECOWAS Vision 2020 and encourage adherence to the strategic choices in line with regional priorities.

Development Patrtners’ Representatives

Identifying the building of requisite infrastructure as key in the creation of a healthy environment for investment and trade in the region, president de Souza emphasized the need to support the ongoing efforts at the revitalization of the road, rail and air links to aid the free movement of goods, persons and capital in the area with a markets of more than 340 million inhabitants.

President de Sousa noted that the ECOWAS Commission has focused its efforts on a number of major areas of development, including those relating to regional infrastructure, the consolidation of peace and security, deepening of integration through the construction of the economic and monetary union as well as the promotion and development of the private sector, among others.

Making a presentation on the status of regional integration process in West Africa and medium-term prospects, the President specifically harped on the imperative of peace and security for regional economic stability and progress. He identified the gaps between integration instruments and their implementation, non-tariff barriers as well as the need to align demographic and economic growth in order to forestall the encroachment of poverty on the region.

Stressing the prevalence of energy deficits in West Africa, the president itemized the tremendous natural resources of the region which should be harnessed for development. Noting the importance of consolidating on the regional customs union, he stated the need for rapid intervention equipment to help ECOWAS make the desired progress in human security.

Cross section of high level participants

He also touched on the necessity of taking the region’s intra-community trade of more than 40 years beyond the 15 percent mark, noting in this regard that the meeting will allow ECOWAS and the Development Partners to “take stock of the implementation of the regional integration agenda, ensure the effective functioning of the various coordination mechanisms, define the prospects for improving partnerships, review the state of implementation and follow-up of commitments made in the sectoral thematic groups as well as renew and confirm the commitments of our partners in support of ECOWAS reforms and priorities”

President de Sousa thanked profusely the partners, nations, institutions and representatives of international organisations including the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas for their contribution to the success of the coordination processes. They were also invited to the Round Table for the financing of ECOWAS Community Development Program (CDP) taking place in January 2018 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

Remarking on the significance of the meeting, the head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen said the EU has an abiding commitment to addressing regional challenges collectively, stating that over recent years, the EU increased its support to ECOWAS through its Development Fund by allocating more than one billion Euros for the 2014-2020 period.

“Finding solutions together is what makes us stronger…To this end, we need to make sure that our efforts always are aimed at creating tangible results for our citizens as the very core of our mandates, whether promoting peace or creating more conducive environments for doping business and for the creating jobs especially for the youth” He added.

The United Nations Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator Mr. Edward Kallon reiterated that the UN considers ECOWAS as a strategic partner in the promotion of values of good governance, human rights, peace and stability, and progressive attainment of regional integration.

Highlighting the areas of support of the various arms of the UN to ECOWAS, he stated that regional economic integration “is much broader than efforts to simply liberalise trade.”

A representative of the regional civil society forum Mr. Komlan Messie opined that in the movement from the community of States to that of the Peoples, the Civil society should continuously be mainstreamed into the programmes and projects of ECOWAS especially those that have to do with wealth creation and the empowerment of the various segments of the society.

The theme of the12th ECOWAS-Development Partners annual coordination meeting is: Regional Integration in West Africa: What Contributions from the Development Partners?

Share on :

Twitter Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Youtube Instgram