ECOWAS Commission Consults, Decentralized Stakeholders On The ECOWAS Vision 2050

ECOWAS Commission Consults, Decentralized Stakeholders On The ECOWAS Vision 2050

The ECOWAS Commission has asked Community stakeholders to play an active role in the development and the implementation of the ECOWAS Vision 2050 document and its frameworks for the West African Region. This call came in a two-day consultation workshop, organized by ECOWAS 29-30 March 2021, in Abuja. A similar consultation workshop was held with women and youth organisations across West Africa, last week.

This workshop aimed to consult specifically with the decentralized stakeholders from Member states because, in most West African States, governance is decentralized to the subnational level for increased participation of the citizens in decision making and promote the wider spread of socio-economic development at the sub-national level.  For development and governance to be fully responsive to the needs of the people and all-inclusive, people and institutions must be empowered at every level of society – national and sub-national (province, district, city, town and village).

Recalling with the adoption of the ECOWAS Vision 2020 in  2007 by the Authority of Heads of State and Government as a strategic framework for the transformation of ECOWAS into a borderless, peaceful and prosperous region from an “ECOWAS of the States to ECOWAS of the People”, the ECOWAS Commission was mandated to establish a comprehensive and all-inclusive roadmap for a new strategy, post vision 2020, that will address the various challenges and reflect the community’s aspirations and projections for the next 30 years. This new vision will build on the successes of Vision 2020 and chart a new development path in a detailed document that will garner the goals, aspirations, and developmental priorities of the region over the next thirty years.

Vice President Madam Finda Koroma, in her opening remarks, reiterated the commitment of ECOWAS to leave no one behind in the roadmap to vision 2020 and called for active involvement in the Vision’s implementation process.  Because the decentralized institutions and Local authorities enjoy a unique and privileged position of proximity with the population as elected officials, your mandates are service delivery to the people, therefore making you the primary stakeholders in the whole process of consultations. Your closeness to the people which gives you the unique opportunity to be able to talk to them directly and to better understand their needs makes you privileged interlocutors in the design and implementation of any policies and programmes for the people, she said.

At the end of this workshop, we would have gathered and documented your strong recommendations and critical solutions which will be incorporated into the design of programmes and policies that will strengthen decentralisation in your various states, as part of the Vision 2050 development process. We are not oblivious to the fact that despite being at the supranational level, the ultimate beneficiaries of our programmes are the people at the grass-roots level. I, therefore, call on all of you here present to help us better understand the peculiar needs of the decentralised administrations and what programmes could be developed to empower them so that together we are able to serve our communities as expected, she said.

She went further to outline some of the important progress achieved in terms of regional integration like the deployment of ECOWAS Common Passport, the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance, the ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card to aid free movement and freedom of establishment of citizens, foster intra-regional trade, partnership, and economic collaboration. The implementation of Conflict Prevention Framework, eradication of terrorism and violent extremism, the war against drug and human trafficking, consolidation of Customs Union with the implementation of the Common External Tariff (CET), construction of Joint-Border Posts at major border crossing points, all have contributed to growth in both formal and informal trade in our region; In the health sector, WAHO is coordinating the regional response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including capacity building and provision of essential medical supplies and equipment to the Member States.

Madam Koroma recalled that under her direct supervision, the ECOWAS Fund for Regional Stabilisation and Sustainable Development for Fragile Regions will soon be launched.  This initiative seeks to improve the living conditions of women and youth, create business opportunities for them, strengthen social cohesion and promote good governance.  The pilot programme was launched in The Gambia with €17m and hopefully, it may be extended to Guinea-Bissau and Mali as part of the regional pilot programme (2021-2023) before it is rolled out to other member states.

She concluded appreciating the quick response of participants to the invitation despite all the hassle of travelling in this Covid-19 period. This is a real show of your commitment to the development of our region, which we appreciate dearly she ended.

Nigerian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Zubairu Dada, hailed ECOWAS for this initiative which is in line with following the ECOWAS Council of Minister’s direction. He reminded participants on the need to see this workshop as an essential tool to appraise the achievements of ECOWAS in the promotion of peace and prosperity across West Africa and use this to not only discuss and identify development challenges of the region but to also explore opportunities, policies and programmes that will go a long way in addressing these issues and contribute to the vision 2050.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, represented by Mr. Adeosun .T. David Director, Macroeconomic Analysis in his remarks stated that this couldn’t have come at a better time when Nigeria is developing their own vision 2050 and 2070.

Mr. Joseph Uyi, Head ECOWAS National Office, Nigeria,  stressed the importance of liaising with leaders and sub-leaders at every level in order to ensure that identifying developmental needs of the sub-region are done effectively and all-encompassing.

Mr. Ludwig Kirchner, GIZ ECOWAS Cluster Coordinator, in his remarks, said since ECOWAS is a ”People-centred” organization, the peculiarities of all stakeholders must be taken into consideration. ECOWAS Vision 2050 offers the opportunity to be part of the larger picture. To be factored in right from the start of this continuous dialogue which should be translated into Pillars, Community Strategic Framework, Strategic Plans, Policies, Laws and implemented at national and subnational levels. If all stakeholders are informed of the development of Vision 2050, we will better hold each other accountable for the future.

In these two days, it is important that you assist ECOWAS in re-aligning the policy trajectory to your realities. Ensure a better integration into the Vision pillars that will support the region for the next thirty (30) years. ECOWAS has invested in the people, which will ensure that the region can flourish. This workshop is a platform for you to voice your aspirations, he addressed the participants.

The participants at the workshop were drawn from city mayors, Governors from each member state, representatives of the ECOWAS Commission, GIZ, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

 

 

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FIIFI BOATENG

Fiifi is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Communications and Information Officer at the West Africa Civil Society Institute. He joined the Institute in December 2020.

NANCY KANKAM KUSI

Nancy is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Programme Officer in the Knowledge Management unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute. She joined the Institute in January 2021.

AGNES ADWOA ANIMA

Agnes is a Ghanaian and currently serves as Head of the Administration unit in the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in October 2021.

DORIS ODEI

Doris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social sciences (Economics and Sociology) from the University of Cape Coast. She is passionate about impacting young lives hence co-founded Impart Foundation. A non-profit organization which seeks to empower young lives through education, technology and entrepreneurship.

PRINCE AKOWUAH

Prince Akowuah is a Ghanaian and currently the Programme Assistant in the Translation Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.

MAXWELL APENTENG

Maxwell Apenteng is a Ghanaian and joined WACSI in September 2010. He provides gardening and janitorial services at the Institute.

GEORGE ADU-MINTAH

George Adu-Mintah is a Ghanaian and currently the Protocol Assistant/Driver at the West Africa Civil Society (WACSI). He joined the Institute in October 2006.

IBRAHIM KWAKU GBADAGO

Ibrahim Kwaku Gbadago is a Ghanaian. He joined the Institute in 2008 and provides janitorial services and assisting the institute's errands. Before joining the Institute, he worked at the Palestinian embassy in Accra, Ghana.

RUTH YAKANA

Ruth Yakana is from Cameroon and currently the Receptionist at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.

BETHEL KWAME BOATENG

Bethel is a Ghanaian. He provides technical and IT related support to the Institute. He joined the Institute in October 2006.

WHITNAY SEGNONNA

Whitnay Segnonna holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Management from the University of Benin. With 2 years of experience, she has a strong knowledge of organizational and project management. Combined with her bilingualism, she is very passionate about her work. She joined WACSI as Project Assistant on Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) for the Capacity Development Unit.

STELLA YAWA WOWOUI

Stella Yawa Wowoui holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Translation Studies. She has a perfect grasp of both French and English, as well as an intermediate level in Spanish. She is currently working as a Project Assistant on the Techsoup Project.

KWAME ASANTE

Kwame is an experienced IT Consultant/Software Developer. He is skilled in Web Applications Development, Digital Security, Database Management, Digital Marketing and Brand Management. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology and is a Microsoft Programme Alumni. He is currently serving as a Marketing and IT Officer on the Techsoup Project.

GRACE AKPENE ZIGGAH

Grace Akpene Ziggah is a Togolese and currently the Logistics Officer and also assists in administration duties at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in June 2009.

LILLIAN DAFEAMEKPOR

Lilian Dafeamekpor is a Ghanaian and currently the Assistant to the Executive Director at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in 2020.

JOHN P. FRINJUAH

John P. Frinjuah has expertise and interests in civil society, international development, democracy and governance, conflict, crisis, and security. He has extensive experience working with civil society and international development organizations where he supported and managed research, programmes, and provided technical assistance on a variety of themes around public policy, governance, and development. He is an alumnus of the University of Ghana and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy - Tufts University in the United States, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from two institutions respectively. John speaks English, French and several Ghanaian and regional West Africa languages.

GERVIN CHANASE

Gervin has extensive international development experience, including 5 years of policy advocacy and capacity building of grass root organisations. He has implemented over the years a combination of agriculture value chain, livelihood, food security and governance and rights programmes.
Prior to joining WACSI, Gervin worked on two USAID projects focusing on agriculture value chain development and governance in northern Ghana
Gervin holds a master’s degree in development & Governance from the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany as well as a Masters in Global Studies from the Universities of Vienna (Austria), Leipzig (Germany) and California (Santa Barbara), USA. He is passionate social justice and inclusion.

LEANDRE BANON

Leandre Banon, Beninese, joined WACSI in September 2014 as Capacity Development Programme Assistant. Since then, he has worked in various units within the Institute to support operational and institutional capacity strengthening programmes for civil society in the region. Currently serving as Capacity Development Programme Officer at WACSI, his main responsibilities involve designing, planning, implementing and monitoring capacity development programmes for civil society constituents and grouping across the West Africa. Leandre is a certified Change the Game Academy Programme Trainer. His background lies in the areas of economics and development planning.

SAMUEL APPIAH

Samuel Appiah is a Ghanaian and currently the Programme Officer in the Finance and Administrative Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). He joined the Institute in May, 2016.

JIMM CHICK FOMUNJONG

Jimm Chick Fomunjong, Cameroonian, joined WACSI in May 2018 as the Head of the Knowledge Management and Communication Units of the Institute. He has over ten years’ experience as a journalist and a development communications expert. He has a vast experience in supporting African organisations to strengthen their internal and external communications, building and sustaining relationships with the media and, leveraging on the power of social media to promote their mission. He is also excellent at supporting organisations to set up and operationalise functional communications and knowledge management systems. He has a deep passion and expertise in supporting Africans and African civil society organisations to document their praxis, share and learn from experiences documented from the African civil society sector.

FRANCK A. SOMBO

Franck Sombo is a development practitioner with the drive to lead self and others to influence productivity and efficiency. His work involves supporting organisations to develop strategic plans, design monitoring and evaluation systems, develop and use relevant performance measurement tools to track progress, assess organizational growth and institutionalise learning. Franck has eight years of experience working with WACSI where he currently serves as the Head, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning. His academic qualifications include Masters in Organisations’ and Projects’ Management, and in Business Sciences and a High National Diploma in Finance and Accounting.

Franck is a Fellow of the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) and a graduate of the Graduate Training Institute (GTI) - Ghana with specialization in Strategic Management and Corporate Leadership. He has a rich experience in Project Management, Capacity Development, Strategic planning, Data Analytics, Monitoring and Evaluation, Training and Facilitation, Mentoring and Coaching among others.

OMOLARA T. BALOGUN

Omolara is a development practitioner and advocacy strategist with over 10 years progressive experience in development programming targeted at strengthening civil society in West Africa. She joined WACSI in November 2009 as an Advocacy Consultant. And later became the first Policy Advocacy Officer in 2010 and Head of Policy Influencing and Advocacy unit in 2015. As head, she offers strategic direction to the institutes’ ambitions to connect and convene groups of organized and organic civil society actors; and influence regional and global discourses on crosscutting policy issues including—civil society regulations, sustainable development goals, civic space and enabling environment, aid effectiveness, gender equality.


Previously, Omolara served as a Service Development Marshal at TVQ Consulting Group, a customer service firm focused on designing strategic customer relationship and business growth plans for private and public financial institutions in Nigeria. She also served as a Programmes Associate with the Women in Peace and Security Network-Africa where she teamed up to design and implement two programmes on—multidimensional peace support operations and gender mainstreaming in security sector reform in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

KWABENA KRODUAH

Kwabena Kroduah is a Ghanaian and currently heads the Finance Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). He joined the Institute in January 2008.

CHARLES KOJO VANDYCK

Charles currently serves as the Head of the Capacity Development Unit at the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). Charles has over 10 years of experience working in international development and social justice issues in Africa. Charles has expertise in strengthening civil society and public agencies including the design and implementation of governance and leadership programmes, development of knowledge pieces and policy advice. Charles was the founding Board Chair of Innovation for Change (i4C)-Hub Afrique, as well as the founding member of the International Consortium on Closing Civic Space (iCon), an initiative of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington DC. Charles currently serves as the Member of the Governing Board (Coordination Collective) of Africans Rising. He is a Member of the Development Studies Association, United Kingdom. Charles is a 2017 Stanford University Fellow for Nonprofit Leaders and a certified Change the Game Resource Mobilisation Trainer.

NANA ASANTEWA AFADZINU

Nana Afadzinu is a Ghanaian and currently serves as the Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI). She joined the Institute in October 2010.