The Vice President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Madam Finda Koroma has called for the engagement of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in order to ensure peace and security and eradicate terrorism in West Africa on 28th February, 2020.
She said this while addressing the Director General for Africa from the Federal Foreign office of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ambassador Philipp Ackermann who paid the ECOWAS Commission a courtesy visit in order to discuss the security challenges in the region on 27th February, 2020 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Vice President stated that the ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments had put together a strategic Plan of Action which will involve the consultation and engagement of CSOs in order to provide lasting peace and security in the region.
Madam Koroma also highlighted mediation as another very important element in ensuring peace in the region. “With several elections coming up in West Africa, it is essential to mediate with key stakeholders in order to prevent conflict and avoid the high cost of peacekeeping”, she said.
The Vice President further stressed the need for Germany to partner with ECOWAS to promote education as it will help curb irregular migration which has economic, social and security implications.
The ECOWAS Commission’s Director of Peace-keeping and Regional Security, Dr.Cyriaque Agnekethom briefed the German delegation on the ECOWAS security strategy which he said includes a security component – the training of security forces, the provision of equipment, intelligence sharing among security agencies of ECOWAS Member States, border control and a civilian component of sensitizing community citizen and improving the living standards of the locals and the infrastructure of the areas affected by terrorism.
He stated in order to execute the security strategy, ECOWAS looks to mobilize funds to the tune of $1 billion through a donor’s conference of its partners later in the year.
On his part, Ambassador Philipp Ackermann reiterated Germany’s commitment to support ECOWAS in its initiatives towards peace and security and the fight against terrorism in West Africa.
Describing ECOWAS as an exemplary Regional Economic Community and citing its successes in various sectors, Amb. Ackermann expressed his confidence in ECOWAS to curb the menace of terrorism through regional and international cooperation.
Also in attendance of the courtesy visit were the German Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Birgitt Ory, the ECOWAS Commission’s Secretary General, Dr. Nelson Magbagbeola and the Director of Cabinet, Mr. Guillaume Gnamien.