Daily Trust (Abuja)

26 January 2010

West Africa: Guinea, Niger Political Situation, Setback in the Region

ECOWAS President Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas has said that the fragile political situation in Guinea and Niger in 2009, increased in human trafficking, drugs and influx of light arms and weapons in the sub-region are some of the factors responsible for setbacks in the development and integration process in the sub-region.

At 7th annual ECOWAS/ development partners coordinating meeting held yesterday in Abuja, he noted that development partners have contributed greatly to the achievements of the organisation hence the need to strengthen cooperation between ECOWAS and its partners through the annual meeting.

Chambas explained that the 2010-2014 Strategic Plan, the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework, ECOWAP, and The Joint Financing Agreement plan were created to provide functional tools by which various partnership interventions and regional programmes can be promoted.

"The meeting is also aimed particularly at identifying our respective roles in the coordination of our efforts in order to achieve a harmonious implementation of the ECOWAS integration programmes".

The Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria Angela Losada said for ECOWAS Commission to improve on its trade liberation, it must eliminate obstacles to free movement of people, goods and remove non-tariff barriers in the Region.

According to the Spanish Ambassador, for ECOWAS to successfully build a sub-regional market it has to prioritise its integration polices as well as double efforts aimed at monitoring the effectiveness of existing trade mechanisms.

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