ECOWAS Commission needs the support of all stakeholders including development
partners for ongoing institutional reforms to enable the organization deliver
effectively on its core mandate of regional development and integration, Vice
President of the Commission, Dr. Toga McIntosh has said.
“We want you to partner with us in finalizing and validating the ongoing reform
so that our organization will function with greater efficiency and for the
benefit of our community citizens,” the Vice President said while receiving a
seven-member delegation of the African Development Bank (AfDB), on behalf of the
Commission’s president on Friday 16th August 2013 in Abuja.
AfDB is a key ECOWAS partner, funding a number of multi-million dollar projects
including those providing humanitarian support, infrastructural and socio-
economic development and peace support initiatives.
The team led by Madam Omobola Hollist, Division Manager of the Disbursement Unit
of the Bank’s Financial and Control Management Department, and ECOWAS officials
discussed a range of issues relating to the implementation status and challenges
facing ECOWAS/AfDB partnership projects.
Dr. McIntosh thanked the bank and other development partners for their immense
support to ECOWAS, explaining that through the completion of ongoing
institutional reform, the new management team hopes to put in place a sound
structure to enable the Commission deliver on its mandate.
He said it was in this spirit of mutually beneficial cooperation that the
President of the Commission, His Excellency Kadré Desire Ouédraogo visited the
AfDB headquarters recently as part of efforts to strengthen relations between
the two institutions.
In her remarks, Madam Hollist welcomed the reform and self-assessment going on
at the Commission, noting that most institutions undergo similar processes to
enable them perform better, and expressed the bank’s willingness to assist the
Commission in this regard.
During discussion, weak human and technical capacity were identified as some of
the key factors responsible for the Commission’s low absorption capacity
resulting in delayed implementation of some of the partnership projects.
As part of the solution, both sides agreed that the Commission undertake an
internal gap-assessment consultation especially on the lagging projects to feed
into a joint technical meeting between officials of both institutions in order
to chart the way forward on the projects and the overall cooperation between
On the ECOWAS team at the meeting, which was attended by AfDB officials from its
headquarters in Tunis and the Nigeria Country office, were Mr. Nikiema
Dieudonne, Manager of the ECOWAS Peace Fund, Dr. Jonas Hemou, Director of
External Relations as well as officials from the Finance and Communication