Abuja - Nigeria — One of the priorities of the new management of the ECOWAS Commission is to deepen institutional reforms in order to fast-track regional economic development and integration, the President of the Commission, His Excellency Kadre Desire Ouedraogo said in Abuja on Wednesday 14th November 2012.
In a statement to the opening of the 12th Session of Community Institutions’ Administration and Finance Committee (AFC), the President, represented by the Commissioner for Finance and Administration, Mrs. Khadi Saccoh, noted that apart from facilitating the pace of regional integration and creating a viable and enabling environment for investments, “we are going to target our efforts at consolidating peace, security and democracy in West Africa.”
“We are also going to strive to deepen institutional reforms as well as establish mutually beneficial partnerships to tackle regional challenges,” the President said, adding that given the impact of the projects initiated by their predecessors on regional development “we are required to invest in the spirit of continuity and consolidation.” The current AFC session, the second and the last for the year, will consider the draft 2013 budget of the Commission and other Community Institutions. President Ouedraogo described it as a budge of “Reform, Peace, Security, Good Governance and Hope. Hope for the realization of an ECOWAS of people in a security and peaceful Community.”
Declaring the three-day session open, the AFC Chairman Mr. Felix Tanoh, Special Adviser to the Minister for African Integration in Cote d’Ivoire’s Foreign Ministry, urged the Committee to simply its procedures, but also take a hard line against impunity so as to come up with a budget that would make ECOWAS a strong and viable Community that caters for the wellbeing of its citizens. He stressed the need for unity to put the Organization in a position of competitiveness to promote trade, free movement of people, goods and services, delivery of social services, and to always rise above the divisions and barriers inherited from colonial administrations.
While, acknowledging that the Community has made tremendous progress, the AFC chairman noted that much more needs to be done to attain the objectives of an ECOWAS of people under the regional Vision 2020. The AFC meeting is usually followed by the sessions of the Council of Ministers and the Authority of Heads of State and Government. In line with Article 69 of the ECOWAS Revised Treaty (1993), the Committee is charged with the responsibility of considering budgets and all other issues related to administration and personnel management of Community Institutions.