Abuja - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has commended the European Union (EU) and other development partners for supporting the regional economic and trade integration process and the West African private sector competitiveness programmes.
The bloc commended the World Bank and the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) among others.
According to a statement, the President of ECOWAS Commission Kadré Desire Ouédraogo, gave the commendation during the official launch of the programmes at the Commission’s Abuja headquarters.
“While consolidating the common market, the two projects will enable our region’s integration into the global economy while ensuring the competitiveness of our private sector by improving the business climate,” he said.
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The European Union (EU) is contributing some Euro 40 million to the progammes estimated to cost more than US$60 million based on an agreement signed by the West African region and the EU, under the tenth Development Fund (EDF).
The GIZ, World Bank and UNIDO are the implementing agencies.
Ouédraogo said the programmes would not only contribute to addressing the challenges in the implementation of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU, but also asserts the important role the private sector plays in promoting West African integration”.
He acknowledged the relationship between the ECOWAS and European partners in the implementation of regional agenda urged all the implementing partners to ensure the effective functioning of the projects’ coordination and monitoring mechanisms.
Representative of the Head of European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Brian O’Neil, said, “With abundant natural and human resources, improved access to markets and conscious effort in addressing the challenges of competitiveness, West Africa can become the next ‘emerging region.”
Andreas Proksch, GIZ’s General Director for Africa, lauded the launch of the programmes saying they would promote sustainable economic development and enhance regional integration.
- CAJ News