ECOWAS, WAEMU move to strengthen regional trade networks

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l-r Commissioner Tei Konzi and Joaozinho Mendes
l-r Commissioner Tei Konzi and Joaozinho Mendes

THE steering Committee of the West Africa Trade Facilitation (TFWA) programme, comprising of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States ,ECOWAS, the West African Economic and Monetary Union, WAEMU, the European Union, EU, the Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands, the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, and the programme’s implementing partners, the World Bank Group and the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ) held their second meeting on December 6, 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The TFWA Programme is a multi-donor initiative that aims to improve the movement of goods in the region and internationally by reducing the time and cost of trade for the private sector in West Africa and strengthening the ability of regional trading networks to maximize the benefits of these improvements.

Cross section of participants
Cross section of participants

The participants of the steering committee reviewed aspects of the programme that will ensure its improved implementation, the efficient movement of goods along selected corridors and the reduction of barriers for small-scale traders and other important stakeholders such as women.

Speaking during the opening session of the meeting, the Commissioner of Trade, Customs and Free Movement of the ECOWAS Commission, Tei Konzi, stated that the successful implementation of the programme is hinged on the cooperation and synergy of all stakeholders involved in the programmme.

Lending his voice to the ECOWAS Commissioner, his counterpart from the WAEMU Commission, Joaozinho Mendes, stressed that ECOWAS and WAEMU need to work together towards the integration of trade in the region.

Group picture of participants
Group picture of participants

On their part, the representatives of partners of the programmes reiterated their commitment to the programme and welcomed the interconnectivity of Customs in the region, which they described as crucial to the success of the TFWA programme.

– Dec. 9, 2019 @ 16:57 GMT |

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