The European Union (EU) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German government’s foreign aid agency, have donated IT equipment to the ECOWAS Commission for effective service delivery at the West African regional body.
This was part of technical assistance aimed at making ECOWAS meet international best-practice standards in order to access financial and other supports from the EU and other world donor agencies and foreign governments.
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The donation was made to the commission at the official launch of the EU funded Institutional Support to ECOWAS (ISE) programme, which is aimed at enhancing the effectiveness, efficiency, and impact of the EU aid in West Africa.
Speaking during the programme held at the ECOWAS Training Centre in Abuja, the Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mrs Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, said that the programme was developed to train internal personnel who will in turn train staff of the commission.
Tassin-Pelzer explained that the internal trainers will support in conducting regular training for old and new staff of ECOWAS institution.
She said: “It is my pleasure to welcome you to the formal launch of the EU funded Institutional Support to ECOWAS Programme.
“A 4.85 million Euro Programme also co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by the GIZ.
“Today, we shall be handing over equipment purchased under the programme to support the training centre and celebrate the graduation of the centre’s first set on internal ECOWAS Trainers.
“The Institutional Support Programme which we are launching today was developed as a follow-up to previous programmes to strengthen the Public Finance Management and Institutional Reforms initiated by ECOWAS.
“The programme began in Dec. 2020 and aims to ensure that the ECOWAS Commission, as well as the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) attain international standards in finance, audit, accounting and human resource.”
Also speaking at the event, the Head of Component, Institutional Support for ECOWAS (ISE), Natalie Ba, said for several years, Germany has been supporting ECOWAS in strengthening its strategic management competencies and its preparations for the EU-pillar assessment.
Commissioner for Human Resources, ECOWAS Commission, Prof. Dias Jeremias, who represented the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, at the event, explained that Institutional Support to ECOWAS (ISE) was set up to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, and impact of the EU aid in West Africa.
He noted that: “The ISE, which is part of the overall action ‘Support to the ECOWAS Commission on Organisational Development’ (GIZ OD) commissioned by BMZ has provided technical assistance on institutional reforms at the ECOWAS Commission and the EBID.
“Since the signing of the Contribution Agreement between the stakeholders and the commissioning by BMZ towards the end of 2020, the ISE which is jointly funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ has been committed to supporting both the ECOWAS Commission and EBID which is aimed at preparing both institutions for the EU pillar certification to directly manage funds provided by the European Union.”