8 May 2019

Liberia Welcomes the 22nd Meeting of the ICE On Demographic Dynamics for Sustainable Development in West Africa

Robertsfield — The Sub-Regional Office for West Africa (SRO-WA) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Government of Liberia launched today, in Robertsfield, Liberia, the 22nd Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee of senior officials and Experts (ICE) for West Africa.

This 22nd Meeting is being held under a regional context marked by the entry of the United Nations, African Union, ECA and ECOWAS reforms in their decisive phases. It is also marked by the continuation in planning, by States, aimed at better improving a slow-paced development despite the decade of economic growth in the West African countries.

The main objective of this meeting is to discuss recent developments likely to impact economic and social development in West African countries, with a view to identifying major challenges to be addressed and to proposing guidelines for accelerating sustainable development in West Africa through the transformation of the economies of the Sub-Region. In this light, participants will have to review the statutory reports prepared by the Secretariat. During this Meeting, delegates will review, in turns, the Report on Implementing the SRO-WA Work Program in 2018 and prospects for 2019, the Report on the Regional Profile of West Africa and the Report on Progress in Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in West Africa.

Held under the theme: "Demographic dynamics for sustainable development in West Africa: challenges and policy measures,"this 22nd West African meeting of the ICE is taking place as plenary sessions and a round table, during which reports drafted by the Bureau and communications from experts are being tabled and discussed.

Liberia's Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. TWEAH Jr, said "I hope that strong recommendations in terms of education, agriculture and finances will be made by the participants at this important meeting".

For that, he added "I call for an advocacy for these recommendations to be made at the level of the parliaments so that they have an impact on the national polices".

According to the Director of ECA in West Africa, Bakary Dosso, three reasons justify choosing the theme of this meeting. "First, it is a strategic choice. Demographic Dynamics for Development is the new area of specialization of the ECA Sub regional Office for West Africa. Secondly, the West African region is at the forefront of issues related to population dynamics and development. Lastly, the current momentum. There is a worldwide agenda to identify and seize the windows of opportunity of demographic dividend in Africa", explained Mr Dosso.

"The region is home to 377 million people or 30 percent of the population of Africa in 2018. It is the most populated region of the continent growing at a pace of 2.7 percent per annum. It will double every 25 years, Ceteris Paribus", said ECA's Dosso.

The Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Liberia, Pa Lamin Beyai said "The challenges we face as a sub-region are immense, but the United Nations, working as one in each of your countries, is ready to support you to benefit from the demographic dividend. For that to happen, the progress made in regional integration needs to be sustained in the short, medium, and long terms to ensure that youthful population is a true force for development, peace, and security".

Prior to the Committee's meeting, an Ad-hoc Experts Group Meeting was held in Robertsfield on May 06 and 07, 2019, on the theme "National capacities and mechanisms in evaluating progress in the implementation of agendas 2030 and 2063: assessment, challenges and prospects in West Africa".

Delegates from 15 West African States, as well as senior representatives and experts from the ECOWAS, UEMOA, the Mano River Union (UFM), and other intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) of the Sub-Region attended the 22nd Meeting of the ICE for West Africa. In addition to the ECA, other United Nations agencies will contribute towards the success of this meeting, together with other development partners and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Development and research institutions that handle population issues in Africa will also contribute to the discussions.

To Editors

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is one of the five Regional Commissions of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). Its Office in West Africa has as objective to support the development efforts made by the fifteen countries of the Sub-Region (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo) through the formulation and implementation of policies and programs that can contribute to their economic and social transformation.

The ICE is an organ created by the United Nations General Assembly. Every year, it brings together high-level decision-makers from Member States. It aims, not only to discuss economic and social performance so as to make relevant recommendations, but also to monitor the activities of the Bureau and oversee the drafting and general implementation of its work program, including the formulation of priority objectives for the Sub-Region. Thus, the ICE guides the programs of the Bureau by ensuring that subregional priorities are well integrated, and by making recommendations to resolve issues affecting economic and social development within the Sub-Region. These recommendations may, where appropriate, be considered by the ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning & Economic Development.

In West Africa, the ICE meets annually to discuss economic and social performance, using/based onworking papers prepared by the ECA Sub-Regional Office for West Africa (ECA/SRO-WA).

Every year, the ICE is hosted, at its request, by a Member State of the Sub-Region.

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

Email: gouro2@un.org

#ICE2019WA

For more information on the ICE, please visit: https://www.uneca.org/ice22-wa

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