Assistant Minister for Development Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Hon. Benedict Kolubah has presented the country’s report on ECOWAS Post Visioning and Consultation.
Minister Kolubah led a team of government officials and made the presentation on Monday, February 17, 2020, in Freetown, Sierra Leone at the Sub-regional Consultation of MRU countries organized by the ECOWAS Commission under the leadership of the Vice President of the Commission.
Hon. Kolubah informed participants from the MRU and ECOWAS Commission that Team Liberia conducted a consultation under the leadership of the Ecowas National Office and the Division of Planning through facilitators and resource persons to stimulate discussion on the eight thematic areas including Population and Human Capital, Economy Governance, Peace and Security, the Environment, Technology & Social Innovations and Challenges and Cross-borders Issues.
The consultations according to Minister Kolubah were held in Ganta, Nimba and Grand Cape Mount, from November 21−22, and 13−14 of December 2019, respectively.
He explained that participants, apart from the assessing the achievements of 2020 Vision and also providing their aspirations for the post-2020 Vision, the consultation increased ownership and brought about citizen-led ECOWAS visioning process, provided opportunity for both state and non-state actors to define their roles in maintaining peace and stability in the region, as well to reinforce the need for collaborative early warning system.
As part of the key observation from the consultation, the Minister emphasized that the role of ECOWAS remains the unforgotten interventions of ECOWAS on the minds of Liberians and also and also indicated that with tangible development initiatives, ECOWAS is remembered more in the region.
While at the same time indicating that the impact of the Commission’s work is more appreciated when people move and transact across borders freely.
Despite the success of the Team Liberia consultation, Hon. Kolubah disclosed that participants recommended further consultation should ensure the post-2020 ECOWAS Vision must consider more community engagements and people-centered programs, while member states should endeavor to increase free movement and ease the cost of cross border trade in the region.
At the end of the two days consultation, the ECOWAS Vice President extended her heartfelt appreciation to all the delegates and resource persons who made practical inputs in shifting the drafting of the post ECOWAS Vision 2020.
She said this policy document will be a milestone as it incorporates the aspirations of all member states and other professionals.
The Liberia delegation comprised of Hon. Benedict Kolubah-Assistant Minister for Development Planning, Mr. Benedict Roberts Director for Ecowas National Office and Mr. Jimmy M.C. Boakay, Director for Regional and Sectoral Planning.