Friday, October 15, 2010

Deputy Minister Reiterates ECOWAS Integration


Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) The Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Momodou S. Kah has reiterated
that the economic integration of West Africa was identified as the key strategy to achieve the vision on the establishment of this sub-regional body.
Mr. Kah was speaking recently during a three-day Sub-Regional Programme on Mobilization, Sensitizing and Consulting Civil Company Stakeholders on ECOWAS Community Development Programme. The theme of the programme held in Banjul was stakes, strategies, action, points and communication mechanism and
agriculture food security.

According Kah, the outstanding differences between ECOWAS Member States was clearly noticed in the fields of commerce, economy and political stability, including influences of linguistic and cultural
differences and barriers. “This has not succeeded in strengthening cohesion,
which is key to implementing efficient community policies,” he noted.

He said that ECOWAS Member States need to draw lessons from past approaches towards economic integration, to a more realistic approach, by including all stakeholders, particularly farmers’ organisations such as ROPPA
and COASAD.

This approach, he said will provide a more participative, more Democratic and a more efficient approach to the regional integration process. “ECOWAS Vision 2020 is aimed at substituting a community of peoples
approach to that of a community of states. Regional integration has reached a
very important stage in its implementation process, through the adoption of a
common external tariff (CET) in 2008, the establishment of regional and
national agricultural investment programme,” he said.

In May 2008, an important milestone was reached in the implementation of the new ECOWAS Vision 2020 during the launching of the workshop on community development programme (CDP) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
when a Ten Point Strategic Plan to facilitate the achievement of ECOWAS vision
2020 was develop.

He also noted that this workshop is a follow up to a series of workshops organised by ECOWAS in collaboration with its partners to ensure that those entrusted to monitor the integration process including stakeholders
are capacitated, by increasing their level of awareness on the ECOWAS Protocol
and laws. Vol:2 Issn:133

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