The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is said to be well on target of establishing a single currency, and the adoption of a single biometric identity card, among others, by 2020.
Accordly to Thisday report, The Ambassador of Liberia to Nigeria, and Permanent Representative of Liberia to ECOWAS, Prof. Al-Hassan Conteh, disclosed this on Friday in Abuja on the occasion of the celebration of the 41st anniversary of the organisation.
(NAN) reports that ECOWAS had fixed January 2015 for the implementation of the common currency project in West Africa but was later shifted to 2020 because member states were not able to satisfy criteria for it.
Conteh noted that since they “launched Vision 2020 to transform ECOWAS from ECOWAS of States to ECOWAS of peoples, our Community has accomplished meaningful targets and objectives in its strategic planning”.
According to him, progress has been made in trade liberalisation, Customs Union, favourable industrial policy, mines development, agriculture and environment, infrastructure-transport, telecommunications and energy.
According to him, the organisation has put in place a coordinated capacity for organising efficient regional response against epidemiological challenges, including the Ebola Virus disease.
He said that the Commission was working relentlessly on the implementation of its vision 2020, to create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous and cohesive region.
He said that the Commission was also poised to build on governance where people have the capacity to access and harness its enormous resources through the creation of opportunities for sustainable development and environmental preservation.
He said: “We have recently witnessed democratic elections in Member States, including Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Guinea and Burkina Faso, Niger and Benin.
“ECOWAS’ mediation made a big difference in resolving civil wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire. And more recently the Community’s role was commendable in the resolution of crises in Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, and Mali.”
The Diplomat commended Nigeria and other development partners for providing support for the commission to meet its development objectives.
Professor Amadu Sesay, from University of Ilorin who presented a paper entitled “ECOWAS and peace support operations in West Africa: opportunities, challenges and threats” urged the leaders to rise up to the task.
The professor of International relations said that creation of ECOWAS had brought about some opportunities, but the leaders should work towards exploring them for the development of the region.
Dr Tony Elumelu, who represented ECOWAS staff at the occasion, said that the staff were determined to form a formidable workforce that will weather all storm and remain strong.
Elumelu , while appreciating the financial predicament that confronted the Commission, called on member states to assist in providing necessary funds to achieve its mandate