ECOWAS undertakes a closing ceremony for the Technical Cooperation window of the ECOWAS Fund for Regional Stabilization and Development (FRSD) in The Gambia.29 Nov, 2023
The ECOWAS Fund for Regional Stabilization and Development (FRSD) is an instrument established by the ECOWAS Commission with support from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), to address fragilities in the ECOWAS region. Implementation of interventions are undertaken through a Financial Cooperation Window that focuses on infrastructure led by KfW, and a Technical Cooperation Window led by GIZ which focuses on capacity building.
Since 2019, the Fund has been implemented in The Gambia as a pilot project with the objective of promoting stabilization through improvement in the socio-economic conditions of youth, women and migrant returnees. Interventions included trainings and business development support for women and youth in the poultry, fisheries, and horticulture value chains, and complemented with psychosocial support for migrant returnees.
On 28th November 2023, The Technical Cooperation (TC) window of the ECOWAS Fund for Regional Stabilization and Development (FRSD) Gambia Pilot Project marked a major milestone in its life cycle with a closing ceremony to mark the end of activities after four (4) years of implementation.
The Closing ceremony entailed site visits, exhibition of by-products from poultry, fishery and horticulture trainings, as well as highly interactive discussions about the key results, lessons learned from implementation of the activities under the Technical Cooperation Window.
Speaking at the Closing Ceremony, Hon. Seedy Keita, The Gambia’s Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs expressed gratitude to the ECOWAS Commission and German Cooperation for introducing the Fund in The Gambia, which has benefitted over 6,000 women and youth in the country.
In her remarks, the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E Mrs Damtien Tchintchibidja reiterated the importance of the Fund as part of ECOWAS Commission’s strategic instruments in meeting the needs of most vulnerable populations to build a resilient region. She congratulated GIZ for completing technical cooperation activities and called on Government of Gambia to continue with the activities to enhance sustainability of results. “What we are witnessing today are the values and principles that the ECOWAS Commission and its institutions stand for – where resources are channelled to the provision of much needed support to our populations, to make them capable of contributing to building a resilient and prosperous region” H.E Mrs Damtien Tchintchibidja.
Ms. Ulrike Ebeling, Regional Director GIZ Senegal, The Gambia, Cabo Verde in her remarks mentioned that the implementation under the Fund for Regional Stabilisation and Development helped create a model for change which demonstrates that development, social inclusion, and environmental responsibility can go hand in hand.
“The efforts, commitment and work poured into these interventions in the Gambia are an important canvas to draw lessons learned and experiences from to transfer to the next phase. I recognise the challenges ahead, while also seeing huge opportunities for positive impact and growth,” she stated.
The Ambassador of Germany to The Gambia, Mr. Klaus Botzet stated that the collaboration between the ECOWAS Commission and German cooperation implemented by GIZ and KfW under the FRSD is a testament to effective international cooperation and a good foundation for strong bilateral relations between the Gambia and Germany. “I am glad to see strong partnerships emerging from this to continue building resilience in regions facing challenges such as food insecurity caused by climate change, as well as limited access to basic socio-economic infrastructure and services,” he added.