Abuja, August 5-6, 2021 – The ECOWAS Commission has organized with the support of GIZ a two-day retreat for Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), as part of the ECOWAS Visi-on 2050 development process. The event which was held at Transcorp Hotel Abuja under the chairmanship of the Acting Chair of the ECOWAS PRC, Mr. Eddison Mensah Agbenyegah, Chargé d’Affaires of the High Commission of Ghana in Nigeria, had in attendance the President and Vice Presidents of the ECOWAS Commission, Ministers from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ambassadors accredited to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Permanent Representatives ac-credited to the ECOWAS Commission, Resident Representatives of ECOWAS in Member States and Heads of Liaison Offices, Strategic Partners for ECOWAS – CAPEC and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Directors and Staff of the ECOWAS Commission.
In his keynote address, the ECOWAS president, H.E. Mr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, welcome all to the retreat and informed that all first three phases of the roadmap have been successfully completed and the meeting was for the validation process leading to the endorsement by the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in December 2021. He also said the visi-on document which is to presented at the retreat was an outcome of the various participatory and interactive processes convened to map out strategic agenda for the region. He further stated that the information collected from various consultations was developed into a draft document which was used to refine vision statement, define strategic pillars and create thema-tic areas for the commission. He said the retreat will enable representatives from all our mem-ber states to give their assessment of Vision 2020 and give their aspirations for the next 30 years.
In his opening address, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, expressed appreciation to the commission for convening this meeting of the ECOWAS Permanent Representatives Committee and Resident Representatives in Member States on the ECOWAS Vision 2050. He said the ECOWAS Vision 2050 was adopted as a long-term development agenda “to create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous and coherent region, built on good governance, where people can access and expliot its enormous resources through the creation of opportunities for sustanable development and environmental preser-vation”. He applauded the designing of a roadmap for a seamless transition from Vision 2020 to ECOWAS Vision 2050 as a right step towards achieving the aspirations and developmental priorities of West Africa. He challenged participants to come up with solutions to perceived bottlenecks that can hamper the smooth implementation of the vision and urged member states to take ownership of the vision.
The GIZ representative, Mrs Barbara Rippel, in her speech, said that the new ECOWAS vision will serve as a source of hope and a blueprint for prosperity and growth for the region. She stated that GIZ, being a technical partner for the process of developing the vision document, was happy with the enthusiasm and commitment shown by delegates at the various meetings lea-ding to the draft document. “It will strengthen the fundamentals of the vision, such as scenarios, areas of intervention, success factors and expected results, through your feedback and input based on the specific challenges in our countries” she further added.
The Honourable Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, H.E. Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmad, in her goodwill message, expressed appreciation to the President of the Commission and his team for taking this all-inclusive and conscious initiative geared towards a more integrated and advanced region. While praising the PRC members for their continued commitment in the implementation of policies for the development of our region, she encouraged them to own the vision and chart roadmap towards the implementation.
The retreat which will feature panel discussions on the five key pillars of the vision, presentation and consideration of the status report on the vision and advocacy/mobilization strategies for effective implementation of ECOWAS Vision 2050 ends on the 6th of August 2021.