The technical secretariat and coordination platform of the ECOWAS Sahel strategy will meet in Abuja from the 9th to 10th of November, 2015 to strengthen synergy of action and review the implementation process of the strategy.
The Sahel strategy aims among others, to consolidate on regional responses to long-term development and stability challenges of Sahel-Saharan zone while at the same time promoting strong political dialogue with both North and Central Africa.
During the two-day meeting, the officials will also identify group leaders of the five thematic groups-Infrastructure, Resilience & Food Security, Education, Advocacy & Research of synergy as well as Monitoring & Evaluation.
The convergence would also provide the opportunity to clarify the mandate, mission, institutional structure and operating procedures of the Technical Secretariat of the Platform with the objective of informing members of the Technical Secretariat and the coordination platform on the preferred implementation progress of the strategy.
The officials would also be discussing the financing modalities of the Action Plan through financing instruments, including the European Union Regional Indicative Programme (RIP) and Trust Fund as well as to gather comments from members of the platform on ways to improve the synergy between the various initiatives being carried out in the Sahelo-Saharan zone.
The ECOWAS Commission has already developed, in collaboration with the West African Monetary Union (WAEMU/UEMOA) Commission and the Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), a Sahel Strategy Document with an Action Plan composed of 31 priority projects estimated at 4.75 billion US dollars.
The implementation of the action plan is scheduled for the period of 2016-2020, and supported by a Coordination Platform comprising major stakeholders, including multilateral organizations and development banks and agencies – United Nations (UN), African Union (AU), The High Representative for the AU Mission in Mali and the Sahel (MISAHEL), the European Union (EU), World Bank, the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), the West African Development Bank (BOAD), African Development Bank (AfDB), Intergovernmental Organisations – IGOs and some ECOWAS Member States as well as Sahel-Saharan countries (Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Libya and Chad).
The overall aim of the Platform is to strengthen the coordination between the various mechanisms existing in the Sahel region.
Specifically, the ECOWAS Commission initiated a consultation process with members of the Platform, particularly member states of the G5 Sahel. These meetings also reveal the strong complementarity and potential synergy with the G5 Sahel initiatives.
The first regional meeting of the Coordination Platform was held on May 26th 2014 in Abuja where it the establishment of a Technical Secretariat to support the Platform was recommended. Further, Sahel Saharan Member States and Intergovernmental Organisations were requested to nominate focal points for the Operationalisation of the Technical Secretariat.
ECOWAS initiated the formulation of a strategy for the Sahel region on the basis of the Decision of the 43rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, held on the 17th and 18th of July 2013 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The actions of the strategy are in tandem with ongoing national, continental and international efforts in the Sahel region, in particular the strategy of the AU under MISAHEL, the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel and the European Union Sahel strategy.
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