The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in conjunction with the European Union (EU), has launched the implementation of the European Union Support to ECOWAS Regional Peace, Security and Stability Mandate Programme (ECOWAS-EU PSS Project) aimed at creating the right atmosphere for development in the region.
The project, which will see ECOWAS, EU and other developmental partners committing about 29.3m Euros for the next three years, was on Monday launched at the ECOWAS Commission’s Headquarters in Abuja.
The launch was seen as a major step between ECOWAS and the EU towards strengthening peace and security architecture of West Africa.Vice President of ECOWAS Commission, Edward Singhateh, while appreciating the contributions of the EU towards the development of the region, assured on judicious use of the resources.
He disclosed that between October 2016 till date, ECOWAS and EU have signed a total of 9.48 million Euros, adding that the EU had already made a disbursement of 3.9 million Euros for the project.
He said: “Within the framework of PSS Project, the EU and ECOWAS have signed in October 2016 a first grant amounting to 6.7 million Euros and a second grant in November 2016 amounting to 2.7 million Euro for the commission, as well as the Civil Society Grant amounting to 174,000 Euros, totaling the sum of 9.48 million Euros. The European Union has already made a disbursement of 3.9 million for the project”.
Earlier, ECOWAS Peace Fund Capacity Building specialist, Dieudonne Nikiema, disclosed that the agreement on peace, security and stability between ECOWAS Commission and the EU was signed in November 2013.
“The main purpose is to support ECOWAS in its peace and security agenda, meaning the support to the mediation aspect, early warning aspect, and fight against the proliferation of small arms and also how we can take into account the issue of maritime security. It has much more preventive dimension,” he said.
Nikiema identified some specific objectives of the programme to include supporting ECOWAS to execute its conflict prevention and resolution mandate in a sustainable way; creating a shift from a reactive to a preventive mode in acquiring increased strategic, operational and management capacities and building ECOWAS Peace Fund and PAPS Department capacities.
ECOWAS is to provide 2.3 million Euros out of the 29.3 million Euros earmarked for the project while the balance of 27 million Euros is expected to come from the EU.