By John Okeke
President of the ECOWAS Commission H. E Jean-Claude Kassi Brou has said the achievement of the sub-regional community block can be consolidated with the upcoming elections envisaged this year.
According to Commission President the sub-region has demonstrated strong commitment to addressing issues relating to security and stability challenges affecting by applying existing political and legal measures to mediate conflicts restore democratic governance in the region.
“The role of the Economic Community West African States Parliament in this regard is highly regarded and acknowledged”.
Commissioner Dr. Siga Fatima Japne who represented the Commission President at the open of a three days seminar of the Community Parliament in the Gambia made this remarks.
She however noted that the sub-region is increasingly exposed to security threats ranging from arms trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking, terrorist financing etc.
And added that the Commission alone cannot address the complex problem of the region it would need to have collaboration and enhance synergy with ECOWAS Parliament to deliver the dividend of regional agenda through social inclusion.
Again, she pointed out that the sub-region is not all about challenges, as it is bless with natural resources and bountiful youthful energy.
“We have to leverage on opportunities created in the new decade by adopting the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), through the promotion and strengthening of the Free Movement, with ECOWAS single currency programme”.
Dr. Siga in addition emphasis the need to focus on breaking the cycle of poverty by providing decent work, education for all and basic nutrition and social protection for the weak and vulnerable.
“The answer in our security problems can be found in bridging the gap of inequality and enhancing social protection for all. There is a lot of work to be done and I invite you to focus your priorities to include these areas”.