ECA, ECOWAS join forces to strengthen Commission's leadership and management capacities for development
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), through its Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, and the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are paving the way for close collaboration to strengthen the ECOWAS Commission's leadership and management capacities for development.
Through a technical Memorandum of Understanding that was renewed in June 2017, the two institutions have made a formal commitment to pool their efforts to strengthen the process of sub-regional integration in general, and the implementation of the ECOWAS Vision 2020 in particular.
This Memorandum aimed to define a general framework for cooperation in order to allow the ECOWAS and the ECA to engage in mutually beneficial activities, such as information sharing, consultations and knowledge sharing. This Memorandum also provides for coordination and collaboration on projects, studies and research in areas of common interest to the two institutions and for the improvement of the living conditions of the peoples of the Community.
In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, cooperation between the two institutions focuses mainly on the ECOWAS strategic pillars and objectives presented in Vision 2020, the implementation of which has been undertaken mainly through the 2011-2015 Regional Strategic Plan and the 2016-2020 Community Development Programme.
Priority areas for intervention, such as strengthening the institutional capacities of the ECOWAS Commission, monitoring economic and monetary integration in West Africa, supporting the ECOWAS Commission to establish consensus and develop advocacy on policies for regional integration, are targeted in particular.
It is within the framework of this Memorandum of Understanding that the ECOWAS Commission requested and obtained the support of the ECA for the capacity strengthening of its Strategic Planning Directorate, for the final, independent evaluation of its Vision 2020 that is coming to an end, and for the development of its new Vision 2050 and its first medium-term strategic framework for the implementation and development of a macro-economic model for the sub-region.
This support is part of the core mission of the ECA to provide assistance in strengthening regional integration and promoting international cooperation for the development of Africa.
In 2006, the Conference of Heads of State and Government carried out major institutional reforms, notably by transforming the ECOWAS Executive Secretariat into a Commission. It continued in this direction of deepening integration by adopting the Vision 2020 in June 2007 in Abuja (Nigeria). The aim of this key document was to transform the ECOWAS by 2020 from an "ECOWAS of States” to an “ECOWAS of Peoples” in which the people would be involved in the regional integration process so as to take its ownership, be at the centre of the concerns of regional policies and be the ultimate beneficiaries.
With less than a year remaining before the end of the implementation of Vision 2020 and the 2016-2020 Community Development Programme, the ECOWAS Commission deemed it necessary to carry out a final and independent evaluation of this Vision 2020.
This evaluation aims on one hand to report to and inform the Community on the socio-economic performances recorded within the framework of the implementation of the Vision, and on the other hand to draw lessons from successes and failures to inform the process of defining the new Vision 2050, which aims to be very participative and inclusive, the formulation of which will begin in the coming days with the support of the ECA.