PRESS RELEASE

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Year 2013 Selected
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N°: 290/2013
12 October 2013 [Abuja - Nigeria]

COMMITTEE SUGGESTS RECIPE FOR EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF ECOWAS STRATEGIC PLANS

The Strategic Planning Coordination Committee (SPCC) of ECOWAS Institutions ended its 7th session in Lagos on Friday 11th October 2013, with far reaching recommendations including the holding of annual Coordination meetings by heads of the institutions to ensure effective implementation of Community Strategic Plans and for better monitoring and evaluation.   To underscore the importance of strategic planning to effective delivery of the mandates of the institutions, the meeting which considered the Road map for the development of the ECOWAS 2016-2020 strategic documents, recommended that the President of the ECOWAS Commission should be “the champion of the planning process.”   “Management should report to the ECOWAS Council of Ministers and the Summit of Heads of State and Government on the implementation of the strategic plans,” the Committee recommended, adding that ECOWAS Strategic Framework should be translated into policy of management.   It noted that strategic planning process would be more effective through the development of a community framework that would lead to the action plans of institutions and agencies.   “All stakeholders,” the Committee said “need to be involved in the planning process to ensure ownership and commitment,” with stakeholder consultation included in the road map.   The meeting also recommended an impact assessment of current goals and the incorporation of Risk Management into the community strategic framework as a chapter in the strategic plans of the community institutions as well as the need to develop a Result-Based Management (RBM) culture in the planning.   A sub-Committee of the SPCC was set up to draft the Terms of Reference for the engagement of a Consultant to draft a Position Paper on the Institutional Architecture for the 2016-2020 Community Strategic Plan (CSP) Study, and the drafting of the Community Strategic Framework (CSF), with the main Committee’s next meeting fixed for the first week of March 2014, to be hosted by the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) in Freetown, Sierra Leone.   In an address to the closing ceremony of the 7th session hosted by the ECOWAS Parliament, the Speaker of Parliament and Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu described planning as “a key ingredient in modern day resource management,” adding that “what makes an institution thick is pragmatic strategy.”   The Speaker, represented by a member of the Community Parliament, Senator Gbenga Obadara commended the President of the EOWAS Commission for his “foresightedness and thoughtfulness” in setting up the Committee, saying that the impact of its work “should be seen in the development efforts in all fields of the Community.”   He said the need for proper monitoring and evaluation of community programmes and activities, “informed the current efforts to enhance the powers of the ECOWAS Parliament,” which currently plays an advisory role.   “Integration is meaningless unless it translates to better life for our peoples in practical and measurable terms,” the Speaker said, and charged the Committee members to justify the confidence reposed in them as “the think-tank of the Community.”   While formally opening the four-day Committee meeting on Wednesday 9th October 2013, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Toga Gayewea McIntosh affirmed that the management of the Commission placed the highest premium  on strategic planning and programming as a key ingredient for Community Institutions to effectively deliver on their mandates to the citizens. Describing strategic planning as the “nerve centre” of any organization that desires to succeed, he explained that providing this activity with the right visibility and adequate funding would enable ECOWAS institutions perform at their optimal level with maximum benefits to the community citizens. Dr. McIntosh therefore charged the Committee to come up with concrete outcomes including a Roadmap and step by step methodology for a draft workable Community Strategic Plan as well as an outline of challenges and how to address them, avoiding the deficiencies of previous strategic plans of 2007-2010 and the 2011- 2015 periods. Community Institutions represented at the Lagos meeting were the ECOWAS Commission, the ECOWAS Court of Justice, ECOWAS Parliament, Inter-governmental Action Against Money Laundering (GIABA), West African Monetary Agency (WAMA), West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA), West African Health Organization (WAHO) and the West African Gas Pipeline Company (WAGPCO)


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