The President of the ECOWAS Commission, His Excellency Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo
has called for proposals from stakeholders to improve communication and
cooperation for coordinated implementation of regional programmes in Member
"Enhancing the coordination and synergy of actions by various actors in the
Community is essential in ensuring the coherent implementation of Community
programmes," the President said in a speech at the opening of the 7th annual
Retreat of officials from the ECOWAS Commission and Community institutions, at
Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital on Thursday, 14th March 2013.
Describing the retreat as an extension of the ongoing stakeholders’ dialogue,
the President Ouédraogo said this first session under the present management
would have an added dimension of providing an opportunity for insight into "huge
regional integration projects" for the realization of the dream of the founding
fathers for the socio-economic integration of the region.
He said the projects were an expression of the region’s commitment to
"accelerate the realisation of a developed and integrated West Africa supported
not only by dense and complementary infrastructure reinforced by the creation of
an enabling regional environment while increasing the capacity for resilience of
Through the platform provided by the retreat, the ECOWAS chief said the
stakeholders would "outline the different response strategies being deployed to
address the current challenges confronting the region" which require concerted
In opening the meeting, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom urged the
stakeholders to work towards accelerating the region’s integration, saying that
this held the key to regional economic development and safeguarding the welfare
of the citizens since none of the 15 Member States could go it alone.
Citing the experience of the European Union which is vigorously pursuing its
integration project despite the superior economic status of its member states,
the governor said this should serve as evidence for West Africa about the value
of the enterprise.
The ECOWAS delegation was hosted to a dinner by Governor Akpabio during which
they were treated to the culinary specialities of the state, its rich culture
and the vibrancy of its youth, including a solo violin rendition of Nigeria's
National Anthem by four-year-old Precious Victor Eka followed with equally
entertaining local songs on saxophone by his nine-year-old older