18 May 2017

20th Session of West African Intergovernmental Committee of Experts Opens On Planning and Development

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso — The Government of Burkina Faso, through the Sub-Regional Office for West Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) opened the 20th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) for West Africa on Thursday in Ouagadougou.

The Session is being held in the context of efforts by countries to embark on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Session aims to debate recent trends that could impact on the economic and social development of countries in the West African region and identify key challenges in this regard. Participants will come up with recommendations to accelerate growth and the economic transformation of the sub-region.

Holding under the theme, "Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 in West Africa: The role of planning in development", the 20th ICE is seen as the opportunity to analyse the efforts made by countries to ensure the coherence of their National Development Strategies and the alignment of their vision with the new global framework of reference represented by the SDGs. It is also the opportunity to discuss the efforts undertaken by countries to set up a monitoring-evaluation framework for the SDGs in general and for development policies in particular.

According to the Secretary of State in charge of land use planning in Burkina Faso, Madame Pauline Zouré, this meeting serves as the opportunity to discuss the efforts undertaken by countries to set up a monitoring-evaluation framework for the SDGs in general and for development policies in particular. "Burkina Faso, with the support of development partners, including the United Nations System, has met the need for coherence in the course of drafting the National Economic and Social Development Plan (PNDES)", she said.

For his part, the Director of the ECA Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, Dimitri Sanga said, "Aside from the discussion on development planning, this session has offered us the opportunity to report to you on the work of the ECA and to examine the reports on the economic profile of West Africa in 2016 and the outlook for 2017, on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and progress towards the single currency in the ECOWAS zone"

In addition to the discussions, participants are examining four statutory reports prepared by the ECA Secretariat, which include a report on the activities of the Office; a note on the economic and social conditions in 2016 and the outlook for 2017 in West Africa; a report on the implementation of the regional and international development agendas; and a report on sub-regional initiatives in West Africa. The meeting is also holding against the backdrop of renewed interest in development planning and its role in the implementation of the sustainable development goals.

The ICE was preceded by a two day Ad hoc Experts' Group Meeting held on May 16-17, on the "Impact of the ECOWAS Economic Partnership Agreements and the Common External Tariff on structural transformation and dynamic integration in West Africa".

The 20th Session of the ICE has attracted the participation of delegates from 15 West African States, as well as high-level representatives and experts from the ECOWAS, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the Mano River Union (MRU) and other Inter-Governmental Organisations of the sub-region. The African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank and NEPAD, agencies of the United Nations system, development partners and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOS).

Note to editors

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The mission of its Office for West Africa is to support the development of the 15 countries of the sub-region (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo) by helping them to formulate and implement policies and programmes able to contribute to their economic and social transformation.

The ICE is a body set up by the United Nations General Assembly. Every year it gathers together high-level decision-makers from Member States with the goal not only of debating economic and social performance and proposing relevant recommendations, but also of reviewing the activities of the Office and supervising the development and general implementation of its Programme of Work, including the formulation of priority objectives for the sub-region. In this way, the ICE provides guidelines for the programmes of the Office by ensuring the best integration of sub-regional priorities and by making recommendations in order to resolve issues that affect the economic and social development of the sub-region. These recommendations may, if necessary, be examined by the joint meetings of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration and the ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

In West Africa, the ICE meets annually to debate economic and social performance on the basis of working documents prepared by the Sub-Regional Office for West Africa of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA/SRO-WA).

The ICE is hosted every year at the request by a Member State of the sub-region.

For more information, please contact: Tahirou Gouro, Communications Officer, ECA- SRO/WA,

mob: +227 90 99 99 39, Email: tgouro@uneca.org

On the ICE, please visit: http://www.uneca.org/fr/20th-ice-west-africa

Sub-Regional Office for West Africa

428 Avenue du Fleuve Niger

B.P. 744

Niamey, Niger

tel.: (+227) 20 722961

fax: (+227) 20 722894

web: www.uneca.org/sro-wa

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