By Kennedy Nnamani
THE Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has held a two-day workshop to review the status of gap filling actions related to the “EU Pillar Assessment”.
The commission, in a statement on Tuesday, noted that the assessment is part of a wider institutional reform process within the commission.
According to the commission, during a mock assessment conducted in 2021, ECOWAS was assessed on eight (8) out of the nine (9) EU Pillars, passing four (4) and requiring improvement on four (4).
“The 4 Pillars which required improvement by the ECOWAS Commission were: internal control, exclusion from access to funding, publication of information on recipients, and protection of personal data.
“The action plan also included gaps identified in pillars which ECOWAS passed under Accounting, External Audit, Grants and Procurement,” the statement said.
The commission in the statement further noted that a Pillar Champions’ meeting was held in December of 2022, to map out and assign tasks for gap filling actions along the 4 Pillars, which required improvement.
According to ECOWAS Commission, this workshop was thus organised to take stock of the implementation of the action plan resulting from the last workshop of December 2022 and to update the December action plan with new timelines.
“It brought together Pillar Champions representing the different Departments and Directorates of ECOWAS involved in this assessment,” it said.
Meanwhile, Ahmadou Oury Balde, the director, Financial Reporting & Grants, who was represented by Chukwuka Nwacheli, acting head of Division Grants, emphasised on the importance of the role of each participant for the achievement of the expected results of the workshop.
In addition, Franck-Emery Mongbe, speaking on behalf of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, GIZ, presented the draft report submitted by the GIZ consultant on pillar № 9 relating to data protection.
It is pertinent to note that the “EU Pillar Assessment” is an essential step in modernising operations at ECOWAS and in promoting ownership of development aid.