PRESS RELEASE

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Year 2013 Selected
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N°: 244/2013
22 August 2013 [Abuja - Nigeria]

HEADS OF ECOWAS NATIONAL UNITS ADOPT DRAFT OPERATIONAL MANUAL

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 adoption. 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 integration processes. 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.


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