ECPF focal persons map out coordination strategies for Peace building Action plans05 Feb, 2018
Abuja, February 2nd 2018. The Focal Persons of the 15 Components of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) ended on the 1st of February, 2018, their three-Day retreat where, among others, strategies were devised for the effective coordination and implementation of their Plans of Action.
Themed: Collaborating and Strategizing to Prevent Conflict in West Africa, the special Workshop which held in Goshen City, Nigeria, afforded the participants the opportunity to reflect on the current conflict dynamics, including major findings from the recently completed Conflict Risk and Vulnerability Assessments (CRVAs) as well as the Regional Trends in Human Security data and findings by the Early Warning Directorate.
Apart from an appraisal of the implication of the findings for the ECPF, participants identified cross-cutting areas, shared their action plans and discussed the adaptability of the plans for addressing regional conflict contexts.
During the Workshop, core principles and practices for effective and coordinated conflict prevention strategy including the technical support needs for the successful implementation of action plans, were also identified.
Welcoming participants to the Workshop, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) Mrs Halima Ahmed stressed the imperativeness of sharing related peace building plans already launched, with the ECPF Components seeing that the regional peace and security architecture gains when notes are compared therefrom.
Speaking through her Executive Assistant Dr. Habibu Yaya Bappah, the commissioner thanked officials of Reacting to Early Warning and Response Data in West Africa (REWARD) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for their support as well as the European Union’s Peace, Security and Stability mandate Programme (PSS) for hiring the ECPF project consultant(s).
The ECPF Secretariat Programme Officers-Mr. Constant Gnacadja and Mrs Sa’adatu Shuaibu including REWARD’s Ms Maria Jessop and the Programme Director, Funds For Peace, Mr. Nate Haken gave overviews and interventions bordering on action plan development challenges, security threats, core elements of conflict prevention programmes design for strategic impact as well as clear areas of collaboration and synergy.
There were also presentations on the overall regional Peace and security Landscape, reflections on the ECOWAS Community Strategic Framework (CSF) and the PoA as well as the financial regulations and compliance with an examination of the trajectory and concerns emanating from the disbursement of funds to retirement of same.
Workshop participants also critically examined the need for a common planning template and methodology across ECOWAS Institutions, how to ensure that action plans are more responsive to regional flashpoints as well as, to the risks and vulnerabilities identified therewith.
During the wrap up sessions, the ECOWAS Commission’s Director, Political Affairs, Dr. Remi Ajibewa harped on the need for the emergence of areas of specialization beyond the level of Components, from among participants, stressing that the work done has shown that “…even inside the House, there are experts. This activity gives us an umbrella with all the 15 Component. We should cross fertilize ideas constantly…We all believe in this region. We have to improve the region and it is the way forward”
The fifteen components of the ECPF are: Early Warning, Preventive Diplomacy, Democracy and Political Governance, Human Rights and the Rule of Law, Media, Natural Resource Governance, Cross-Border Initiatives, Security Governance, Practical Disarmament, Women, Peace and Security, Youth Empowerment, ECOWAS Standby Force, Humanitarian Assistance, Peace Education as well as Enabling Mechanism.
Apart from strengthening Inter-Departmental and inter agency collaboration, the ECPF programmes are design for strategic peace building impact to be enriched with the benefit of the Workshop, by preceding relevant concept papers and proposals.
The retreat is a successor activity of the validation of the 2018-2020 PoA by Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Experts who met in January 2018 at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria.