The Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee of the Economic Community of West Africa States, ECOWAS, is preparing 2016/2020 Strategic framework to ensure a borderless, peaceful and prosperous region
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jul 20, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
THE Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee, SPCC, of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has prepared a successor plan to the Regional Strategic Plan, RSP, 2011 to 2015. The successor plan to the RSP is couched as a Community Strategic Framework, CSF, 2016 to 2020 and has the medium term overarching goal of consolidating the foundation for a borderless, peaceful and prosperous West Africa.
The SPCC said the RSP, 2011to 2015 was adopted in June 2010 to give effect to the realisation of the ECOWAS Vision 2020, which seeks to create a single economic space and consolidate the gains of sustainable development. The committee, at its 10th meeting from July 9 to 11, said that the plan contained a set of strategies and programmes to be undertaken in the medium term. These programmes have been carefully implemented to create the desired conditions for economic growth and development within the sub-region.
Toga McIntosh, vice-president, ECOWAS Commission, said the CSF, 2016 to 2020 largely builds on the RSP, 2011 to 2015, while retaining much of its validity. He said the CSF would adapt to the changing environmental dynamics in order to bring some adjustments to ECOWAS current strategic objectives and this would ensure congruence of purpose and the effective mobilisation and utilisation of the region’s abundant resources and comparative advantages.
“This will provide the general framework for advancing integration work in the region and guiding national development planning processes. All ECOWAS institutions and agencies are expected to carve out of the CSF, their respective operational strategic action plans. Such plans would indicate substantive deliverables, verifiable indicators and lines of responsibilities,” he said.
According to McIntosh, the 10th SPCC meeting is very significant because it will enable the committee to finalise and adopt the working draft of the CSF, 2016 to 2020. “We are embarking upon one of the critical requirements of any institution that wants to make progress and also desire of having necessary impact on its constituencies. In this case the citizens of West Africa. We are at the critical junction because in the next six months the current documents that we are operating with in determining our programme content, direction of our activities would come to an end, 31 December. The institution continues to survive and the needs of our people are continuing to grow day-by-day. So it is only prudent and I think it is wise for any institution to be in readiness to take off even within the first hour when the other documents come to an end. Six months to go, we have made way into finalising a strategic document that will form the bases of the operations of the community institutions over the next five years beginning January 2016 through December 2020.
“The purpose of our gathering in Lagos at this time is to push this process one more step towards driving those critical strategic documents. The group that is meeting, the Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee, SPCC, is a committee that brings together representative of all the ECOWAS community institutions and these institutions are fully represented by the officials that are particularly entrusted with the strategic planning, programming and monitoring the execution of those programmes and making sure that those institutions are in conformity with the overall strategic direction of the community institutions. We are hoping that at the end of this particular meeting, we would have left this exercise from the technical point of view and take it to the policy point of view.
“In other words, the reports that come out of this meeting we are holding will now find its way to principals, the heads of our respective institutions and they will go through it, give their input, agree with us and disagree with us by strengthening what we say and then finalise it before submitting to the council of ministers, who have the responsibility to guide the programmes of our institutions. The conclusions from this meeting will allow institutions/agencies to commence the preparation of their respective strategic action programmes. It is expected that both the CSF and the strategic action programmes of institutions/agencies would be completed by October 2015.”