ECOWAS and Scientific Community Assess ECOWARN System14 Oct, 2019
Abuja, 14th October, 2019
Delegates from Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are meeting with the Scientific Community to review the region’s early warning system in other to strengthen and improve the overall operational capability of the existing mechanism to deal with threats to peace in a holistic manner.
The two-day workshop which began on the 14th of October 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria, is to explore among others, how to position the model of the ECOWAS Early Warning and Response Network (ECOWARN) as the lead early warning data management tool in ECOWAS Member States.
The Workshop is also primarily seeking to evaluate the ECOWARN data collection and validation process and measure their responsiveness quotient while comparing the existing ECOWARN system and products with similar ones at the regional, continental and global levels.
Welcoming the experts to the assessment workshop, the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Madam Finda E.M. Koroma stated that the exercise will help the Commission to better address, the major risks, threats, challenges and vulnerabilities facing ECOWAS Member States.
Some of the risks and challenges highlighted included inter-communal conflicts, increased violence associated with transhumance, violent extremism, terrorist attacks security threats, the multiplication of natural disasters, epidemics and pandemics outbreaks, food insecurity, irregular migration as well as maritime piracy.
Vice President Koroma added that the ECOWAS Commission believes that a successful review will help in the promotion of peace and security in the region. This she said is because the resulting effective conflict prevention and management tool “would be one of the best assets/tools a regional economic community that the ECOWAS Commission can have at its disposal to protect its Member States and population from internal and external threats”
Referencing violent extremism, Vice President Koroma disclosed further that the ECOWAS Commission is interested in engaging the African Union’s African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism and other research partners to examine the possibility of ‘motive, condition and opportunity triggers and trajectory’ serving as early warning of the intent of violent extremist groups.
Also speaking, during the opening of the Workshop, the Head, Conflict Prevention at Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Mrs Yvonne Akpasom drew attention of the experts and officials to the notion of finding African solutions to African problems.
Acknowledging the relevance of the Workshop’s objectives, she stressed the need to take a second look at the traditional African wisdoms in conflict mitigation as they represent critical aspects of indigenous knowledge systems relevant for the prevention and resolution of conflicts at both micro and macro levels.
Noting that while institutional capacities and technologies are important for an effective warning and response system, they need to be extremely people-centered and allow for inclusivity.
Apart from revisiting ECOWARN reporter tools and modules, greater awareness and understanding of ECOWARN model by the scientific community and National Authorities are expected at the end of the exercise alongside actionable recommendations to improve the regional and national ECOWARN data collection and data dissemination systems.
The exercise is part of the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations Programme (ESPAO), co-funded by the European Union and the German government.
|For more information, please contact:
Directorate of Communication, ECOWAS Commission
Phone: +234 8102507938