ECOWAS Member States Representatives Begin Consultations On Ecpf 2018-2020 Plans Of Action
Abuja. Representatives of Member States of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have begun consultations towards their eventual validation of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) Action Plans 2018-2020.

The Consultative Workshop holding in Lagos, Nigeria from the 25th to the 26th of April 2018, is meant to identify and strengthen the roles of Member States in supporting ECOWAS interventions during the implementation of the Plans of Action (PoA) while increasing regional collaboration in the prevention of conflicts as well as the promotion and consolidation of human security in West Africa.

Welcoming participants to the Workshop, the ECOWAS Commission’s Director Political Affairs, Dr. Remi Ajibewa stated that the ongoing effort is part of the initiatives aimed at strengthening the level of preparedness and response to conflict situations by the ECOWAS Commission, Member States, Civil Society and external partners.

Addressing Representatives of Member States who are drawn from the ECOWAS National Offices and designated ministries, Focal Persons and other participants, Dr. Ajibewa said the process of defusing potential and real threats to human security in a country requires the coordination of actors at various levels including the state, region and international arena.

He maintained further that the act of maintaining peace and security in Member States “is not only achieved through multi-actor collaboration but also multi-dimensional conflict prevention strategies”

The ECPF document, he added will be devoid of impact without its effective buy-in by Member States, as well as domestication within national and security architectures, hence the brain storming session is meant to strengthen awareness and capacity within Member States to enhance their roles as principal actors in conflict prevention.

Earlier in an introductory remark, the Manager, ECOWAS Peace Fund Mr Dieudonne Nikiema stressed that the commitment by Member States is very well commendable and in sync with renewed efforts to realise the dream of an ECOWAS of the people as against an ECOWAS of States.

Giving an overview of the ECPF processes and updates of peace building activities and programmes, the Commission’s Programm Officer, Conflict Prevention, Mr. Constant Gnacadja stressed the necessity of reviewing the various programmes already presented with a view to improving them while taking ownership of the documents.

Stressing that the exercise was an important means of consolidating the PoA, he took participants through the outline of the programmes which will be sent in for validation once their mapping was completed. He noted among others that the activity will help in mainstreaming conflict prevention into ECOWAS policies hand in hand with the mobilization of resources to achieve effectiveness of the ECPF. He also explained that the ECPF focusses more on human security with activities devised to diffuse tensions and ensure that citizens are not afraid to move about in the region.

The ECPF programs are expected to be harmonized with the ECOWAS Community Strategic Framework (CSF).

In January 2018, experts and representatives of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) validated the 2018-2020 ECPF PoA. This was followed by a finalization retreat by the Focal Persons of the various components who also mapped out strategies for the effective coordination and implementation of the PoA in February 2018.

These came on the heels of the organization of sensitization interventions with civil society organisations, Ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs of Member States, Development Partners and Journalists by the ECPF Secretariat in collaboration with ECPF Internal Steering Committee all in a bid to create awareness, understanding and ownership of the ECPF.

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