The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), through its national office in Liberia, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning has climaxed two days of National Stakeholders Consultations on ECOWAS post-2020 vision in Devos Village, Tewor District, Grand Cape Mount County.
The workshop held from December 13-14, 2019, was under the theme: “Ideas for a Peaceful, Borderless and Prosperous Region”.
It aimed to gather stakeholder's views, experience, opinions and perceptions of policies, programs, projects, and activities of ECOWAS over the last ten years since the introduction of the Development Agenda for the transformation of West Africa into a borderless, peaceful and prosperous region by the year 2020.
Assistant Minister for Development Planning Hon. Benedict Kolubah, who proxied for Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, explained how ECOWAS has used the 2030 Vision as a tool to accelerate the development of West Africa’s economy through regional integration in order to achieve accelerated sustainable development.
Asst. Min. Kolubah said the ECOWAS Vision 2020 goal is to raise the living standard of the people through inclusive programs for a sustainable generation.
According to him, over the years ECOWAS has been successful in shifting democratic governance by holding free, fair and transparent elections in the region as well as conflict and crisis resolutions and prevention.
‘’ As we move in developing the ECOWAS 2020 Vision, we should consider demographic challenges of West Africa and how the population is growing faster and may pose a burden on the existing social and economic structures including health facility’’ Kolubah added.
He stressed the need to build human capital so that the demographic dividend will have the potentials to boost economic growth. He encouraged participants to propose programs to ECOWAS that will build human capacity and reduce dependency, mortality and fertility rates.
It can be recalled that Phase One of the National Stakeholders Consultative Workshops was held on November 22, 2019, in Ganta City, Nimba County.
The two days workshop was attended by the Assistant Minister for Development Planning, Sierra Leonean Border Contingent, senior officials in the public sector, representatives from security agencies, political parties representatives, women, youths, academics, students, lecturers, researchers, media, religious and traditional leaders, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) , Trade Unions, among others.