ECOWAS council of ministers discuss NEPAD

Yamoussoukro- Côte d'Ivoire (PANA) -- Ministers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Thursday discussed the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) in Yamoussoukro ahead of ECOWAS summit on Friday.
The ministers examined recommendations by the experts who met 13- 15 May in Cote d'Ivoire's political capital in a bid to broaden the scope of reflections on all sectors covered by NEPAD.
The sectors cover infrastructure, agriculture, energy, environment and the New Technologies of Information and Communication (NTIC).
ECOWAS executive secretary, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas said the main proposals made during the experts' meeting are coherent with the regional approach for the implementation of Africa's new development initiative.
"We must send a strong signal to the rest of the continent and the international community to reaffirm NEPAD's objective to strengthen the regional co-operation agreements and speed up the sustainable development of national economies," he said.
Chambas announced that ECOWAS would, within its institutional framework, reinforce its capacity to assume the additional responsibilities involving the implementation of NEPAD.
Appealing to the ministers to adopt the appropriate regional strategies and the measures necessary for the implementation of the new African development plan, he hailed "the new spirit instilled in Africa's development dynamics by NEPAD and the African Union.
" Opened by Ivorian Prime Minister Pascal Affi Nguessan, the ECOWAS ministerial meeting on NEPAD was expected to end by adopting the experts' report that will be tabled for discussion during the summit of ECOWAS leaders on Friday.
Apart from the representatives of the 15 ECOWAS member countries, the African Development Bank (ADB), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the Canadian Agency for International Development, the World Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the African Businessmen Roundtable (ABR) also attended the ministerial council.
Stemming from a fusion of the OMEGA Plan of Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and the MAP Plan advanced by Nigeria's Olusegun Obasanjo, South African leader, Thabo Mbeki, and Algeria's Abdelaziz Bouteflika, NEPAD aims at speeding up development in Africa.
In order to achieve that goal, NEPAD aims at reaching a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of over 7-percent per annum, in the next 15 years.
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo comprise ECOWAS, which was formed in 1975.

17 may 2002 13:32:00

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