The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Brou, says the region’s economy is steadily growing, reaching 3.3 per cent in 2019, which shows a positive achievement.
Brou gave the assessment during the 56th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Government on Saturday in Abuja.
He commended the economic development of the region despite the challenges of insecurity facing the region.
The regional president also commended Member States for their resilience.
Brou pledged the continuous support of the ECOWAS Commission to various programmes to foster economic development in member states.
He told the Authority of Heads of State and Governments that the economic and social developments in the region are outlined in the State of the Community Report with recommendations.
“Seven ECOWAS countries have consistently recorded growth rates above six per cent in 2019.
“The commission will continue to support investment programmes in all sectors with particular emphasis on production as well as promoting and boosting the private sector.
“We will have to grow intra-community trade, a source of wealth and job creation.
“Thus, I wish to encourage the tripartite committee working to resolve the situation at the borders of some countries,’’ Brou said.
He expressed appreciation to the African Development Bank (AfDB) for its invaluable technical and financial support for the effective implementation of numerous programmes and projects in the region.
Brou also appreciated the Authority of Heads of State and Governments for their commitments to effectively carrying out the missions entrusted in them by citizens.
He pledged the commitment of ECOWAS commission to make the community a region of peace, security and prosperity.
On his part, AfDB’s President, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, pledged that the bank would continue to support the region in tackling its challenges.
Adesina said that there could be no development where there is no peace and stability.
He said that the bank had assisted more than 101 million people in the region with access to improved transportation, 60 million people with access to good water and sanitation and 13 million people with finances.
On transportation and development, he pledged the support of AfDB to the completion of the Lagos-Abidjan road project.
Adesina lauded the Heads of State and Governments for their leadership to mobilise $1 billion to ensure the region’s security.
“When leaders decide, things happen.
“The African Development Bank will be ready to help ECOWAS on this fund, especially to help structure how this fund can be securitised.
“With securitisation, it will be possible to leverage several times more resources from the capital market, through the launch of an ECOWAS Security Investment bond.
“I am also discussing with IMF’s Managing Director on how we can come up with new financing instruments to address these exogenous security-related shocks,’’ Adesina said. (NAN)