West Africa: ECOWAS Commission Urged to Include Agric Issues in Vision 2050

The Economic Community for West Africa States (ECOWAS) Commission has been urged to pay particular attention to issues related to the expansion of agriculture and agribusiness in the development of its Vision 2050.

In a communique dubbed "Kyebi Declaration", participants in a consultative meeting for traditional and religious leaders on the visionsaidthe sector had great potential to provide employment for the youth and ensure food security.

"These efforts should take into account the importance of the livestock sub-sector for the rural areas and lead to mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflicts between herders and farmers,"it said.

The ECOWAS Commission held a consultative meeting on the community vision atKyebiin the Eastern Region, from 25 to 26 February 2021.

The meeting was to take note of the achievements, challenges and the opportunities that exist for effective collaboration with traditional and religious leaders.

The communique,however, stressed the need for ECOWAS Commission to pay greater attention to education and health issues in order not to exclude anyone from the fight against poverty.

"To this end, vulnerable groups, including the handicapped, children and women, must be prioritised as well as the issue of employability of young people," it added.

The participantswere convinced that improving governance and fighting corruption would increase the impact and quality of member States' development efforts.

"We add to these governance issues the need to improve the implementation of already-adopted community policies," it said.

The communique expressed the need for ECOWAS Commission to establish a permanent consultative forum for traditional and religious leaders of the member States.

It also pledged the support of the participantsto work closely with ECOWAS in such areas as peace building, conflict resolution and mediation, cultural exchanges, sporting activities and local cultural and arts exhibitions, environmental protection, andpromotion of inter-religious harmony.

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