The Inquirer (Monrovia)

16 June 2014

West Africa: ECOWAS Finance Ministers in Town

Liberia is widely expected to be elected Chair of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development when Finance Ministers of the regional bloc convene for their 12 Ordinary Meeting of the Bank's Board of Governors in Monrovia.

Convened for the first time in Liberia, EIBD was established by the Authority of Heads of States of ECOWAS as far back as 1979, as the ECOWAS Fund. The Bank has since seen radical, transformative changes, culminating in 1999 into two holding companies.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is expected to open the meeting which takes place today at the Royal Grande Hotel in Monrovia.

A Ministry of Finance spokesperson says, the Bank's governors, comprising Finance Ministers of member countries will review the Bank's activities over the last four years and to chart a new strategic direction for coming years.

Delegates would assess and discuss the Bank's resource mobilization position, particularly its funding portfolio and the need for capital injection by member states. The discussions would also review operational and policy issues, ranging from loan approvals, commitments currently financed and the status of commitments from member countries.

The EBID, formerly the EOCWAS fund was established by the Authority of Head of States of ECOWAS in 1979 as a leading regional investment and development finance bank for West Africa to foster infrastructure, trade, technology and social service development through low interest lending capital.

The EIBD was founded to help leverage lending capital within the ECOWAS zone and support member states carry out development projects aimed at alleviating poverty and driving economic growth and the development.

The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), the financial arm of ECOWAS is an international finance Institution established by the fifteen member States of ECOWAS.

It emerged following the transformation, in 1999, of the former ECOWAS Fund for Cooperation, Compensation and Development (created at the same time with ECOWAS and became operational in 1979).

EBID, as a bank became operational on 1st January 2004 like a holding with two subsidiaries. Since January, 2007, it was reorganized into single organization with two windows, one for the promotion of the private sector and the other, for the development of the public sector.

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