The ECOWAS Commission and the European Union (EU) have discussed regional security and sustainable development in Abuja, Nigeria, while examining the state of play of the G5 Sahel.
A statement by the ECOWAS Commission, issued on Tuesday, 26 November 2019, in Abuja said that both parties had discussed the harmonisation of efforts and joint activities on Monday, 25 November 2019. The statement notes that they also discussed the engendering of a holistic approach to the identified challenges of security and development without duplication of effort.
It added that the ECOWAS Commission’s Vice President, Finda Koroma, stated during the discussion with the EU Special Representative Ambassador, Angel Losada, and his team, the importance of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate their cooperation on G5 Sahel as enunciated.
Specifically, Vice President Koroma stressed the need to involve the G5 Sahel more optimally in the resolution of the security and development challenges of Nigeria’s North East zone. ECOWAS will also be taking a closer look at the emergency development programme of the G5 Sahel with the support of the EU, bearing in mind the overriding need for capacity building of citizens living in the areas affected by insurgencies and terrorism.
Vice President Koroma was supported at the meeting by the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for macroeconomic policy and economic research, Kofi Konadu Apraku. At the meeting, he reeled out the ECOWAS-Sahel strategy’s main components as Food Security and resilience, education as well as peace and security backed by infrastructural and economic development.
Responding to all of the issues raised, Ambassador Losada noted that a lot of changes had occurred regarding the identified challenges, security strategies as well as the scope of the problems. This was achieved through the phases of mobilisation of resources with the EU with the view of making already developed programme to be accepted and implemented,
According to the statement, both parties agreed to find common grounds in the collective efforts at building capacities for joint missions and programmes for a safer, more integrated West Africa. This will be done in the course of time and over the next meetings to be scheduled.