WAI Board Chairman hosts two ECOWAS Commissioners at WAI

Two Com at WAI actualOn 3rd February, 2015, the West Africa Institute (WAI) was visited by two Commissioners of ECOWAS: Madam Fatimata Dia Sow, Commissioner for Gender and Humanitarian Affairs and Mr. Barreto Isaías Da Rosa, Commissioner for Telecommunications and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Accompanied by Mr. Francisco Mendes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX), the two Commissioners were met at the instance by the Board Chairman of WAI, Mr. José Brito.

After presenting the state of affairs of the institute and the financial and logistical constraints that it has confronted since inception, Mr. Brito presented the activities that the institute has undertaken with the limited financial resources available despite the difficulties. The achievements included scientific publications, workshops, training seminars, and dialogue sessions. He also spoke about the partnership that the West Africa Institute has with the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI). He added that it is important to ensure WAI’s financial stability to enable the institute to consolidate and realize its action plan.Two Com at WAI 2 actual

The Board Chairman of WAI emphasized that WAI must become a Specialized Agency of ECOWAS, to be able to carry out the tasks assigned to it. He noted the efforts made so far, especially by the Director General of WAI, Prof. Dr. Djénéba Traoré, who was at that moment in Abuja to discuss this very issue among others.

During the discussions that ensued, Mr. Brito submitted that WAI was fully committed to the principle of autonomy, both in terms of research topics and scientific dialogues. He stressed that in addition to institutions working in the field of regional integration, WAI works with civil society, universities, research institutes and training centers, as well as ordinary citizens. Therefore WAI works towards "ECOWAS of Peoples" in with the Vision 2020 of the Sub-Regional Organization.

ECOWAS 2Commissioner at WAIReaffirming his support for WAI, Commissioner Barreto da Rosa made a commitment to assist the institute with funding until it is financially independent and capable of functioning normally under the banner of ECOWAS. This would guarantee suitable conditions for sustainability.

On her part, Commissioner Dia Sow proposed placing WAI under the auspices of a department of the Commission to ensure better monitoring by ECOWAS. Madam Dia Sow also made interesting proposals aimed at enhancing WAI’s role as ECOWAS think tank. For example, WAI could provide quality research to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of ECOWAS institutions.

Starting at 17:30, the exchanges ended at 19:00 in a cordial manner, with both parties satisfied with the outcome.

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