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
“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
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
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-
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)