ECOWAS, World Bank reiterate commitment towards regional integration11 Dec, 2017
Abuja, 11th December 2017. The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the World Bank have agreed to collaborate closely in the areas of infrastructure, transportation, energy, agriculture and food security amongst others in a bid to accelerate integration in the region.
This was decided during a consultative meeting between the President of the ECOWAS Commission Marcel de Souza, Commissioners of the Commission and representatives from the World Bank on 11th December 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The ECOWAS Commission’s President in his remarks, highlighted infrastructure as a weak link in the regional integration process. He stated that without adequate infrastructure, good roads and transportation to enable free movement of people, goods and services it is impossible to fast track the integration process.
The President said that the feasibility study for Lagos-Abidjan Corridor has been concluded and construction is expected to commence next year. This he said will create a lot of economic activity among Member States and will serve as a huge step in advancing regional integration.
Leading the delegation from the World Bank Mr. Vijay Pillai, outlined the bank’s regional integration strategy which focuses on four main pillars namely, the support to regional corridors, functional regional markets, innovation and entrepreneurship and the management of global public goods.
The team from the World Bank shared with ECOWAS through a series of presentations its strategies for regional trade integration, Food Security and Economic Corridors.
While describing the World Bank’s partnership with ECOWAS as a valuable one, Mr. Pillai further reiterated the Bank’s commitment to financially support ECOWAS and it’s Member States in projects which will develop and integrate West Africa.
On his part, the ECOWAS Commission’s President called on the two organizations to hold regular meetings and collaborate with other financial partners such as the African Development Bank (ADB) in order to pull together resources towards the execution of ECOWAS projects, programmes and activities.