UN, others pledge to sustain growth in West Africa
Abuja, June 26, 2023: The UN and intergovernmental organisations in West Africa have reiterated commitment to ensure sustained development of the West African sub-region.
The organisations made the commitment in a statement issued on the Economic Comission for Africa (ECA) website.
According to the statement, the Government of Senegal, has inaugurated the work of the Regional Forum of West African Intergovernmental Organisations.
It said the inauguration, done through the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Cooperation, was on ”Promoting Regional Value chains and food security for strengthening regional integration and sustainable development in West Africa”.
”The meeting, which is held from June 22 to 23, is organised by the UN’s Economic Commission for Africa’s Sub-Regional Office for West Africa (ECA/SRO-WA).
The meeting is in collaboration with Senegalese Ministry of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, ECOWAS, Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and World Food Program (WFP)
The statement said the main objective of this Regional Forum was to strengthen the partnership for sustainable development between the UN system’s entities represented by ECA, WFP and other UN agencies.
It said it also aimed to strengthen partnership between the ECOWAS, WAEMU, CILSS and other intergovernmental organisations of West Africa.
Mr Souleymane Diallo, Coordinator of the Directorate-General for Planning and Economic Policies at the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Cooperation of Senegal, reiterated the country’s commitment to drive integration.
Diallo said: “Senegal is always committed to being at the front line to support the efforts for deepening regional integration, both at continental and regional level”.
The Director of the ECA/SRO-WA, Mrs Ngone Diop, recalled the warning sign triggered in April by the Food Crisis Prevention Network (FCPN).
According to Diop, nearly 42.5 million people are concerned by the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel and West Africa during the hunger gap.
She further said: ” It is a call out for us to take both immediate and medium- to long-term actions.
“The ECA is recommending new financial resources mobilisation and value chains development.”
According to Aminata Maiga, Resident Coordinator of the UN in Senegal, providing appropriate responses to the promotion of value chains and food security will speed up implementation of the 2030 and 2063 agendas.
”This is particularly by reducing poverty, achieving food security, promoting decent work and sustainable growth, inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, sustainable production and consumption,” she said.
The WFP’s Deputy Regional Director for West Africa, Mrs Evelyn Etti, said: “In an increasingly complex context, we need to leverage our collective analytical capacity.
“We are committed to strengthening and broadening our collaboration by combining our evidence-generation efforts to better support governments and regional organisations and co-advocating for the uptake of research results for policy-making,” she said.
The representative of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr Abdoulaye Zonon, said the West African region had continued experiencing the mere consequences of the COVID-19 and the Ukrainian crisis.
According to Zonon, this have been characterised by a considerable slowdown in economic growth.
“In this context, ECOWAS is called upon more than ever, to fulfil its mandate of coordinating socio-economic development initiatives in the region,” he said.