German President Joachim Gauck visits ECOWAS



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A major boost is expected to be given to ECOWAS-Germany cooperation when the president of the Federal Republic of Germany Mr. Joachim Gauck visits the ECOWAS Commission on the 10th of February 2016.

Accompanied by his spouse and first lady Daniela Schadt, senior officials, diplomats and journalists, President Gauck would be meeting with the president of the ECOWAS Commission Kadre Desire Ouedraogo. A high-ranking German business delegation is also on president Gauck’s larger delegation.

Alongside president Ouedraogo, Mr. Gauck is expected to make his grand statement bordering on advancing Germany- ECOWS collaboration. A major feature of ECOWAS-Germany Cooperation is the promotion of regional integration, through strategic management and technical advice.

Since the beginning of special cooperation between ECOWAS and Germany in 2006, the European giant has been providing support for ECOWAS in the main areas of organisational development, peace and conflict prevention, electoral assistance as well as trade harmonization among others.

Germany has been supporting the ECOWAS Commission through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and Frederich Ebert Stiftung since 2006 to enable it execute its core mandate, which is facilitating economic and political inte­gration. Related to this is the support for the Commission’s strategic manage­ment aiming to improve its capacity to steer work through impact oriented monitoring as well as strengthening selected internal management capacities, such as Human Resources and knowledge management.

In the area of trade; cooperation between the European giant and the regional organization fosters the implementation of the project known as Promoting West Africa Trade Integration (WATIP), which targets the capacities of the ECOWAS Commission to design and implement its trade policy and to promote trade within West Africa and between the region and the rest of the world. Support in this regard has also afforded the ECO­WAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), as well as the Common External Tariff (CET). Financial support in the related fields include the cooperation of GIZ-EU-ECOWAS through the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) (2008-2013) to support trade, customs and private sector development. There is also a proposed €22 million funding in this regard with €1 million in Germany and the other €1 million for West Africa (ECOWAS: € 500,000; UEMOA: € 500,000)

Regarding peace and security, there is a high level of cooperation between Germany and key actors in the Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) Department with the purpose of strengthening the Com­mission’s capacities for conflict prevention and peacekeeping in the region just as there is continuous work to improve the ECOWAS Early Warn­ing System (ECOWARN).

In addition to this is an electoral assistance framework which has led to the development of a functional Election Observation Database and an improved Election Observation Methodology that contributes immensely to the prevention of conflicts in the context of election-related crises.

Similarly, the relationship has brought about the professionalization of election observation and the development of policies and procedures for the civilian component of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF).

Concomitant with the training components of the cooperation, comparative studies and other collaborative efforts, many fruits have fallen in the community basket. These include an operational and harmonised regional monitoring system. Through funding from the German Foreign Office, the police component of the ECOWAS Stand-by Force is being strengthened.

Also in the works, is the first draft of the ECOWAS Community Strategic Frame­work (CSF) ready to be presented to ECOWAS Member States. Once adopted, the CSF will set the strategic orienta­tion and priorities for the time frame 2016-2020. This is an important step for the effective establishment of ECOWAS regional integration initiatives.

The ECOWAS-Germany cooperation is wide-ranging. Attesting to this is the special funding and capacity building assistance from various institutions like the state Bank-Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau ( KfW) and Germany’s national Metrology Institute- the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) which continues to provide needed technical support as well as the Management System Information (MSI) / Management Information System (MIS)

The effect of the support of Germany for ECOWAS projects and programmes spans the field of energy and health care including the proposal in 2014 for a new German commitment regarding the continuation of existing projects (2006-2020) as well as newly identified ones, etc.

On the symbolic visit, the German Mission in Nigeria said “the main aim of President Gauck’s visit is to pay tribute to the good relations between ECOWAS and Germany. It is important to the President to promote even closer friendship between ECOWAS and Germany”



His Excellency Joachim Gauck is the president of the Federal Republic of Germany. He was elected by the Federal Convention and became the eleventh President of his country on the 18th of March 2012.

He was born in Rostock in 1940 and studied theology upon leaving high school. He then proceeded to be in the service of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Mecklenburg to work as a pastor between 1965 and 1990.

Mr. Gauck got involved in politics at an early age where he was an opposition figure in the then German Democratic Republic. In 1989 when the Berlin wall was pulled down, he was one of the founders of the New Forum and became its spokesperson in Rostock. He was also among the initiators of the church and popular resistance to the communist regime in the GDR and led the weekly prayers for peace which gave rise to the later popular protest demonstrations.

Widely experienced, Mr. Gauck was elected into GDR parliament as a member of the Alliance 90 (an amalgamation of several grassroots movements) in March 1990 and was subsequently elected chairman of the special committee overseeing the dissolution of the Ministry of State Security. Later that year, he was appointed Special Commissioner of the Federal Government for the files of the State Security Service relating to individuals by the Federal President on the recommendation of the Federal Government. From 1991 to 2000 he was the Federal Commissioner for the Files of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic.

He was also the German member of the Management Board of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia in Vienna and became the Chairman of the Association Gegen Vergessen – Für Demokratie (Against Oblivion – For Democracy) in 2003.

Mr. Gauck has been awarded numerous honours and prizes for his work, including the Theodor Heuss Medal, the Geschwister Scholl Prize, the European Human Rights Prize and the Ludwig Börne Prize. He has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Rostock, Jena and Augsburg.

Together with spouse Daniela Schadt who has been with him since the year 2000, he continues to work for a greater Germany.

Web-PDF Fact Sheet ECOWAS Programme Dec 2015

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