ECOWAS solicits int'l support for institutional reform

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - To enable ECOWAS deliver effectively on its core mandate of regional development and integration, the West African regional bloc says it needs the support of all stakeholders, including development partners for ongoing institutional reforms.

The Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Toga McIntosh, gave this indication Friday in Abuja while receiving a seven-member delegation of the African Development Bank (AfDB), on behalf of the Commission’s president, Kadré Desire Ouédraogo.

“We want you to partner with us in finalizing and validating the ongoing reform so that our organization will function with greater efficiency and for the benefit of our community citizens,” McIntosh declared.

AfDB is a key ECOWAS partner, funding a number of multi-million-dollar projects including those providing humanitarian support, infrastructural and socio-economic development and peace support initiatives.

The AfDB team, led by Madam Omobola Hollist, the Division Manager of the Disbursement Unit of the Bank’s Financial and Control Management Department, and ECOWAS officials discussed a range of issues relating to the implementation status and challenges facing ECOWAS/AfDB partnership projects.

Dr. McIntosh thanked the bank and other development partners for their immense support to ECOWAS, explaining that through the completion of ongoing institutional reform, the new management team hopes to put in place a sound structure to enable the Commission deliver on its mandate.

He said it was in this spirit of mutually-beneficial cooperation that the President of the Commission, Ouédraogo, visited the AfDB headquarters recently as part of efforts to strengthen relations between the two institutions.

In her remarks, Madam Hollist welcomed the reform and self-assessment going on at the Commission, noting that most institutions undergo similar processes to enable them perform better.

She expressed the bank’s willingness to assist the Commission in this regard.

During discussion, weak human and technical capacity were identified as some of the key factors responsible for the Commission’s low absorption capacity resulting in delayed implementation of some of the partnership projects.

As part of the solution, both sides agreed that the Commission should undertake an internal gap-assessment consultation especially on the lagging projects to feed into a joint technical meeting between officials of both institutions in order to chart the way forward on the projects and the overall cooperation between both institutions.
-0- PANA PR/VAO 16Aug2013

16 august 2013 19:45:31

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