Abuja, 2nd June 2018. Commissioners of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Commissions met in Abuja on Saturday, 2nd June, 2018, to assess and consolidate the achievements of the Joint Technical Secretariat (JTS) of the two Commissions as well as discuss the challenges that adversely affected the harmonization of regional integration programmes and policies within the framework of the Joint Commissions cooperation.
The one-day consultation ahead of the Heads of Institutions of ECOWAS and WAEMU Commission’s meeting scheduled for Monday, 4th June, 2018 noted among others, the progress of the implementation of convergence projects such as customs, trade liberalization, agriculture, education and culture which has led to the development of joint texts and harmonization of approaches in the organizations.
On the other hand, the meeting lamented on the adverse effect of lack of funds on the implementation of recommendations and directives for private sector related issues, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) for a free trade area of the two regions as well as the competition rules to regulate the regional market for goods and services.
In the opening remarks of the Commissioner for Macro Economic Policy and Economic Research of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, said the progress made so far will enable the ECOWAS-WAEMU cooperation, among others, speed up the harmonization of Community texts concerning Joint Border Posts as well as the implementation of the EU’s 10th European Development Fund (EDF), 11th European Regional Development Funds (EDF) and the Regional Integration Programme (RIP).
Fr. L-R, Mr. Albert Boura, Director of Cooperation of WAEMU Commission, Mr. Jerome Boa, Acting Director of External Relations of the ECOWAS Commission
Dr. Apraku reiterated his “commitment to ensure that a permanent synergy continues to exist” between the ECOWAS and WAEMU Commissions “for the successful implementation of regional integration projects which provides the pathway to building strong economies in an environment of peace and prosperity”
The Commissioner for Regional Market and Cooperation Department of the WAEMU Commission, Mr. Ibrahima Dieme similarly attributed the success of the convergence process to the consistency and dynamic efforts of the two regional organizations towards the harmonization of Community texts and related issues.
Mr. Dieme then urged participant to sustain the momentum and ensure regular consultations on joint projects towards deepening the regional integration of West Africa.