Press Releases

ECOWAS’ Competitive Programme Holds Strategic Steering Committee Meeting

12 Nov, 2020

Abuja, 10th November, 2020. The third Strategic Steering Committee Meeting of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) held virtually on the 10th of November, 2020.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion Mr. Mamadou Traore drew attention to some key results of the project, such as the strengthening of the coordination with National Components of the WACOMP, the training of Business Support Organisations on access to Finance, the training of statisticians on TradeMap, the development and adoption of two ECOWAS standards, the dissemination of the results of studies on the selected regional value chains, the support to the sensitisation of Regional Business Associations on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the support to the development of an action plan to support the private sector in the context of COVID-19.

He recalled the objectives of this important meeting which are to take stock of the level of implementation of the WACOMP at the Regional (1 component) and National level (16 Components), and provide guidance on the way forward to ensure a smooth implementation of all components of the WACOMP.
Commissioner Traore noted that the ECOWAS Commission will continue to take actions to support the Member States in reinforcing the competitiveness of the region, support and relaunch the economy and strengthening the capacities of the actors along the value chains in the framework of this particular programme.

He particularly commended the good collaboration between the ECOWAS and the UEMOA Commissions and thanked the National Focal Points on their efforts made so far in launching the Programme at National level and monitoring its implementation.
He also thanked the European Union for their continuous financial support and the technical partners for their efforts in terms of implementation and results already achieved before declaring the meeting open.

Director for Private Sector at the UEMOA Commission Ms Kadhy Evelyne Denise Ndiaye who spoke on behalf of its Commissioner for Business Development Mines, Energy and the Digital Economy of the UEMOA Commission, Mses. Fily Bouare Sissoko thanked the ECOWAS Commission of the good leadership under this specific Programme, the implementing partners for providing a technical support aiming at reaching the targeted results of the Programme and encourage all implementing partners to take initiatives in order to consider the consequences of the current pandemic on the private sector. She ensured the commitment of the UEMOA Commission in supporting the execution of the WACOMP before thanking all National Components for participating in this meeting.
The Head of Cooperation of the European Union (EU) Mr. Kurt Cornelis commended the ECOWAS Commission, all partners and all representatives of ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania for the strides made so far in the implementation of the programme.
He noted that it was of utmost importance for participants to regularly review progress, share experiences and to give direction to the implementing partners while agreeing on a plan for the coming years, despite the current challenges.

He informed the participants that the next multi-annual Programme focus will be given to digital transformation, sustainable growth and decent jobs, migration and mobility as well as peace and security.

Participants at the meeting examined the status of implementation of the recommendations of the last meeting, held in October 2019, and of the extraordinary meeting held in July 2020. In addition, the presentation made included results achieved in the areas of coordination and monitoring, regional quality infrastructure system and improvement of business environment as well as business & export promotion. An update on the implementation of the West Africa Competitiveness Observatory, which meant to be a tool for decision making for Businesses and Policy-makers, was also provided. In addition, updates on the development of regional value chains as well as on communication and visibility plan were also shared with the attendees.

Among others, the meeting highlighted the need to strengthen the cooperation between all components of the WACOMP, consider synergies between partners, including leverage on other related programmes, use information sharing tools, accelerate the implementation of the ECOWAS certification mark, as well as the implementation of the West Africa Competitiveness Observatory and increase visibility of National Components.

WACOMP which is sustained by the leadership of ECOWAS through its Departments of Industry and Private Sector and of Trade, Customs and Free Movement, is funded by the European Union (EU). The programme is implemented with the support of the International Trade Center (ITC) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

Member States