February 11, 2015
The World Bank Group, ECOWAS and UEMOA yesterday (February 10) commenced their Second Tripartite Meeting on West Africa integration in the Ghanaian capital, Accra. The two day meeting, which ends today, will deliberate on issues pertinent to the socio-economic development of the ECOWAS sub-region, according to a World Bank release.
The release indicates that the high level meeting will, among other things, review the status of implementation of the Abidjan Action Plan which was agreed during their first meeting in Abidjan in July 2013, and will focus on a number of key thematic areas such as Ebola, Agriculture, Regional Infrastructure and Cross Border Management.
“Since we met in June 2013, we have made considerable progress in implementing our ambitious joint action plan in the six priority areas of Agriculture, Education, Trade and Trade Facilitation, Transport, Regional Investment Climate and the Sahel. Given the debilitating effect of Ebola on the sub-region, we shall spend ample time deliberating on how to mitigate its impact, particularly on the three countries most affected. We will also look at how to adjust our priorities to reflect changes in the sub-region and in the World more broad,” the release quoted Mr. Colin Bruce, World Bank Africa Region’s Director responsible for Regional Integration, to have said.
The mood at the meeting is reportedly hopeful, as participants are expected “to identify transformational priorities, work programs, timelines and division of responsibilities during the next phase of this partnership.”
“We look forward to deepening this collaboration between the World Bank Group, the ECOWAS and the UEMOA Commissions in addressing issues of common developmental interest to the sub-region,” H.E. Kabre Desire Ouedraogo, President of the ECOWAS Commission, is quoted to have said.