ECOWAS AND EACS TO COLLABORATE TOWARDS THE STRENGTHENING OF EARLY WARNING MECHANISMS24 Apr, 2018
The Early Warning Directorate of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is committed to collaborating with the East African Community (EAC) in order to share experience and best practices in the process of establishing and operationalizing national early warning structures which will strengthen the early warning mechanisms of both Regional Economic Communities.
This was stated by Mr. Kebba Touray who represented the Director of Early Warning of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Abdou Lat Gueye during a benchmarking visit of the EAC to the ECOWAS headquarters on 23rd April 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The experts from the EAC were familiarized through a detailed presentation on the ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate, its structure, legal framework, modules and products such as daily highlights, situation reports, incident reports, security alerts and early warning and thematic reports.
During his presentation, Mr. Touray stated that, ‘The ECOWAS’ Commission Early Warning Mechanism (ECOWARN) is very robust at the regional level and now includes the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism (NEWRM) under which National Centres for the Coordination of the Response Mechanism (NCCRM) were established to bridge the gap between alert and response’.
So far the NEWRM has been implemented in five pilot countries namely, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, and Mali. It is also expected to be deployed in the remaining 10 Member States in 2018, he said.
Explaining further about the ECOWAS’ Commission Early Warning Mechanism, the Early Warning Directorate elucidated that ECOWARN has 77 field monitors in the 15 Member States (5 in each country and 7 in Nigeria) and their mandate is to report via ECOWARN any incident that has a potential impact on human security.
Similarly, Mr. Benoit Bihamiriza representing the EAC, shared information with the ECOWAS team about EACWARN, its Early Warning Mechanism- its scope, functions, products, legal frame work and its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools.
Mr.Bihamiriza, highlighted that the visit served as a great opportunity to learn from ECOWARN which has a very advanced Early Warning Mechanism.
The team from the EAC will also visit the Cote d’Ivoire National Early Warning Centre on 25th April 2018 in order to better understand the process and modalities of establishing national early warning structures and how they function.
The visit was organized with the support of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) as part of its programme to the African Peace and Security Architecture.