The Heads of ECOWAS National Units have adopted a draft Operational Manual
detailing the guidelines and modus operandi for the Units which play a key role
in relations between the ECOWAS Commission and Member States.
The document, which seeks to enable the National Units to better deliver on
their mandate and responsibilities, was adopted after a three-day meeting in
Abuja attended by the heads of national units and other participants including
senior officials of the Commission’s Directorates.
The manual also details the role and financial structure of the National Units.
Discussions at the meeting centred mainly on the harmonisation of the procedures
and operations of the Units and creation of inter-institutional coordination
mechanisms for effective monitoring of the implementation of ECOWAS programmes
in Member States.
Participants reviewed the draft Manual chapter by chapter and made changes to
its format and content, before recommending the submission of the revised
document to the next ordinary session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.
The meeting recommended that appropriate actions be taken by the Commission and
Member States to facilitate the implementation of provisions of the Manual after
Under the seven-chapter, 30-Article, manual, National Unit are charged to
respect the principles of accountability, efficiency, transparency and autonomy,
as well as contribute to enhancing ECOWAS visibility in Member States.
Member States are also required to fully participate and contribute to regional
The 65th ordinary session of ECOWAS Council of Ministers had directed the
Commission to put in place the mechanism for the production of a comprehensive
operational manual for the national units to support existing guidelines.
Consequently, the recent 7th joint retreat of ECOWAS institutions, permanent
representatives and National Units, recommended that the document be forwarded
to the Heads of National Units for review and comment before submission for
adoption by ECOWAS authorities.
Apart from the Heads of National Units, the Abuja meeting was also attended by
officials of ECOWAS Commission’s Directorates of External Relations, Finance,
Legal Affairs, Conference and Protocol, Communication, Human Resources, the
Community Computer Centre, as well as the Monitoring-Evaluation Unit, with the
Commissioner for Administration and Finance, Mrs. Khadi Ramatu Saccoh, presiding
over the opening and closing ceremonies.