ECOWAS Commission, Experts urge greater collaboration on the Development of National Peace Infrastructures in West Africa
19 Mar, 2021
Abuja, March 17, 2021. As a response to identified human security challenges in the West African region, the ECOWAS Commission, (through its Early Warning and Political Affairs Directorates) experts and stakeholders in the field of human security, have concluded a scoping workshop on National Peace Infrastructures (NPIs) in its Member States.
The two-day virtual workshop which ended on the 16th of March 2021, is preceding a study to be carried out by the Commission to identify and map existing peace infrastructures in the 15 Member States that adequately respond to threats to peace and human security, including National Platforms for Dialogue and Mediation.
At the opening of the workshop, The ECOWAS Commission’s Director for Political Affairs, Dr. Remi Ajibewa, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, General Francis Behanzin, noted that through its relevant protocols, ECOWAS had over the past two decades, been engaging and supporting member states in developing tools and structures, including the establishment and strengthening of relevant institutions responsible for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.
Mr.Bernard Basason who gave a goodwill message on behalf of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), said the efforts at boosting human security capacity is in furtherance of its strategic priority support to ECOWAS Commission in the areas of peace support operations and post conflict stabilization, conflict prevention and mediation, creation of safe and secure post conflict environments; as well as elections and strengthening good governance.
Preliminary recommendations from the Workshop included a reconsideration of the focus on high-level intensity crisis as against crisis of lower intensity in tandem with the movement towards an ECOWAS of the people.
The importance of covering and defining the profiles of all 15- Member States of ECOWAS in the subsequent study was also emphasized while recognizing and galvanizing existing peace infrastructure structures such as those being held by religious and traditional rulers.
Adequate financial investment in the NPI was also recognized as one sure way forward in the prevention of conflict rather than wait to tackle same. West Africa can also make do with a higher level of liaison with more political actors on the ground.
The scoping workshop and the accompanying study are being implemented with financial and technical support of GIZ and the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) Project, co-funded by the European Union and the German Government through its Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ).