The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has lauded the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission for producing the Draft ECOWAS Vision 2050, a successor to Vision 2020.
He said ECOWAS Vision 2050 was a very important milestone in the Community’s journey to the realisation of “an integrated, peaceful and prosperous West Africa” by 2050.
“It is also important that I congratulate all major actors in the region for the achievements and successes recorded during the implementation of the ECOWAS Vision 2020,” Mr Ofori-Atta said in a speech read on his behalf at the opening experts’ meeting to validate the Draft ECOWAS Vision 2050.
The Vision 2020, which had the ambition of transforming the Community from an ECOWAS of States to an ECOWAS of People expired last year.
The Vision 2050 is, therefore, needed to provide the region with a new and a medium-term strategic plan that takes into account current development dynamics.
It would be adopted by the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in December, 2021 but its implementation will begin in January 2023.
The Vision Statement is to create: “A fully integrated Community of peoples, living in a peaceful and prosperous region, with strong institutions and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, striving for inclusive and sustainable development”.
Mr Ofori-Atta said government was proud of the achievements of ECOWAS in Peace and Security; Democracy and Good Governance; Intra Regional Trade and Investments; Free Movements of People, Goods and Capital; and Infrastructure Development (Transport, Energy and ICT) during the implementation of the Vision 2020.
He said those achievements had earned the Community a prestigious place amongst the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in Africa, saying: “ECOWAS is no doubt the model REC in Africa”.
“Despite these achievements, so much still remain to be done in order to raise the living standards of our people and contribute to the progress and development of the African Continent as enshrined in the Revised ECOWAS Treaty,” he noted.
Mr Ofori-Atta urged the participants to consider, in their deliberations, how the Regional Vision would be aligned with the National Development Plans in Member States and how the Vision would address extraordinary shocks such as covid-19, as well as adequate funding for its implementation.
Mr Ludwig Kirchner, Representative of GIZ, who reiterated the high value that GIZ places on its cooperation with the ECOWAS Commission, urged the participants to scrutinise the ECOWAS Vision 2050 Document to ensure the outcome formed a good basis for future development.
Representative of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Ngone Diop said strengthening of development management and steering capacity of ECOWAS to support member states’ development, required the formulation and implementation of a regional prospective vision associated with development plans that responded to the aspirations of the populations.
The ECOWAS Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research, Dr Kofi Konadu Apraku said the Vision 2050 was expected to provide guidance for the development of the region in the next 30 years.
“This is with the view of building on the gains made in the implementation of the Vision 2020, and also improving on the challenges and gaps identified during the implementation.”
Dr Alhassan Iddrisu of the ECOWAS National Office, Accra, who chaired the meeting, hailed UNECA, GIZ and CAPEC for their generous technical and financial support in drafting the ECOWAS Vision 2050.
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