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Sub-Regional Workshop for the Preparation of ECOWAS Post 2020 Vision, Banjul, The Gambia, 16th & 17th March 2020

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The ECOWAS Commission in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit  -GIZ (GIZ Support Programme for the ECOWAS Commission) organized in Banjul, Republic of The Gambia, on 16th and 17th March 2020, a Sub-Regional Consultation Workshop for the Sene-Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Cabo Verde in the framework of the preparation of its Post 2020 Vision.

The Vice President of the Commission, HE Finda Koroma was represented by Mr. Mam Cherno Jallow in his capacity as Principal Programme Officer in charge of Programming, Planning & Coordination at the Directorate of Strategic Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Office of the Vice-President

The opening ceremony was chared by the Honourable Mambury Njie Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs of the Republic of The Gambia.

The participants came from the Sene-Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde.

Based on the key results of the Community Strategic Framework (CSF) of the above quoted Member States on one hand and on the other hand on ECOWAS Vision 2020: “A region without borders, peaceful, prosperous and coherent, built on good governance and where people have the capacity to access and exploit its enormous resources by creating opportunities for sustainable development and environmental preservation", the overall objectives of the workshop were set up as follows : 

-       To get the perspective of the people of the Sene-Gambia / Guinea-Bissau – Cabo Verde Islands region on the achievements of ECOWAS at the country, sub-regional and regional levels during the implementation of the ECOWAS Vision 2020;                                                              

-       To understand the development challenges of the sub-region and

-       To identify the specific development priorities of the sub-region after 2020.

To achieve the above stated objectives, two panel discussions respectively moderated by Ing. Mr. José Brito and Mrs. Fall Njie and focused on the following areas drawn from the ECOWAS Strategic goals, its themes and priority areas. 

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-       Economic and Monetary Integration

Intra-Regional Trade – discussion how well ECOWAS is doing with intra-regional trade?

How actions in the following areas are driving intra-regional trade, free movement of persons, goods and services?

Custom Union – Common External Tariff (CET), ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) etc.  (What challenges are we facing in the area of CET?) 

-       Single currency

How far have we gone in achieving the single currency project? 

What of the challenges and opportunities for real monetary and economic integration in ECOWAS?

-       Infrastructure Development 

Transport 

Road – Highways linking major cities within the region; Joint Border Posts

Air 

Rail

Maritime

What are the impacts of the joint border posts (corridors) built by ECOWAS in Sene-Gambia / Guinea-Bissau – Cabo Verde Islands sub-region? 

-       Telecommunication and Information Technology 

Mobile telephony 

Internet Access 

Panel 2

-       Political Affairs, Peace and Security 

Democracy and good Governance

Peace and security

Human rights

 Energy

What are the challenges observed?

What has ECOWAS done so far in the area of Energy? 

The creation of WAPP / ECREEE / ERERA are major steps taken to address the issue of energy. What has been the impact of these agencies on the energy sector in the region?

What are the impacts of the energy policy of ECOWAS?

What can be done to further improve energy situation in the Sene-Gambia / Guinea-Bissau – Cabo Verde Islands Region?

-       Other areas peculiar to the sub-region: 

Institutional Capacity Development 

Capacity building for Institutions of the Community and Member States Institutions

Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation 

Citizenship empowerment (Youth and Women empowerment, Child’s development)

Socio-economic development – discussion has examined the 4 dimensions of

Social development – improving living standards of the people

Health

Education, Science and Technology

Economic development through: 

Private sector driven industrialization

Investment promotion 

Environmental sustainability – Climate change

Food security

During the workshop, the participants have shared their perspectives on the areas of discussion listed below in relation to:

-       the achievements of ECOWAS at the country, sub-regional and regional levels during the implementation of the ECOWAS Vision 2020; 

-       the development challenges of the Sene-Gambia / Guinea-Bissau – Cabo Verde Islands sub-region and;

-       the specific development priorities of the Sene-Gambia / Guinea-Bissau – Cabo Verde Islands sub-region Post 2020.

The panel discussions that took place have examined how to ensure that economic growth experienced by ECOWAS Member States is inclusive and have significant impact on the lives of the ordinary Community citizens.

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