The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), through its national office in Liberia, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning have climaxed two days of National Stakeholders Consultations on ECOWAS post-2020 vision in Devos Village, Tewor District, Grand Cape Mount County.
The workshop held from December 13-14, 2019, was under the Theme: Ideas for a Peaceful, Borderless and Prosperous Region.
It aimed to gather stakeholders views, experience, opinings and perceptions of policies, programmes, projects and activities of ECOWAS over the last ten years since the introduction of the Development Agenda for the transformation of West Africa into a Borderless, peaceful and prosperous Region by the year 2020.
Assisting Minister for Development Planning, Benedict Kolubah, who proxied for Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, explained how ECOWAS has used the 2030 vision as a tool to achieve accelerated sustainable development in West Africa economy through regional integrations.
Asst. Min. Kolubah said the ECOWAS vision 2020 goal is to raise the living standard of the people through inclusive programs for sustainable income generation.
According to him, over the years, ECOWAS has been successful in shifting democratic governance by free fair and transparent election in the region as well as conflict and crisis resolutions and prevention.
As we move in developing the ECOWAS 2020 vision, we should consider demographic challenges of West Africa and how the population is growing faster and may pose a burden on the existing social and economic structures including health and eductional facilities Kolubah added.
He stressed the need to build human capital so that demographic dividend will have potentials to boost economic growth. He encouraged participants to propose programs to ECOWAS that will build human capacity and reduce dependency, motality and fertility rates. It can be record that he stressed the same issues during the phase one of the National Stakeholders Consultative Workshops was held on November 22nd, 2019 in Ganta City, Nimba County, Liberia.
At the end of the consultantion, paricipants propose amongst many other that ECOWAS post 2020 vision should consider key priorities including;
Regional security, Free movement and trade amongst members states, Human capaicty development and harminzation of shool curriculum and systems, single currency regime to easy doing business in the region and improve cross-boarder trade.
The two days workshop was attended by the Assisting Minister for Development Planning, Sierra Leonean Border Contingent, senior officials in the public sector, Representatives from security agencies, Political parties, Women, youths, Academics, students, lectures, researchers, media, Religious and Traditional leaders, civil society organization (CSO) Trade Union as well as producers umbrella organizations in Liberia.