organizes a virtual meeting to assess the needs of networks of women in development (WID) implementing cross-border cooperation development projects in West Africa
Abuja, September 9, 2021 – The ECOWAS Commission through the Directorate of Free Movement of the Department of Trade, Customs and Free Movement organized a one (1) day virtual needs assessment meeting for women in development.
The meeting was convened to identify areas of intervention, gaps, challenges and needs of networks of women in development (WID) for regional support within the framework of the Regional Support Program for Cross-Border Cooperation of 2021-2025 ECOWAS (ECBCSP) and cross-border ECOWAS. The Cooperation, Free Movement and Migration Fund (CBC-FMM) recently adopted by the ECOWAS Ministers in charge of Cross-border Cooperation and endorsed by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers at its meeting in January 2021. ECBCSP is a multisectoral development program which aims to strengthen cooperation between populations, states and markets to accelerate and deepen regional integration from below.
It works with local communities in border regions to ensure social cohesion, regional construction and sustainable development. It supports joint socio-economic development initiatives and integrates gender into its actions. The regional meeting brought together over 73 participants from all ECOWAS Member States and representatives of the ECOWAS Commission.
In his opening speech, Mr. Tei Konzi, the Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement of ECOWAS warmly welcomed all participants to the very important meeting and congratulated all Actors for their efforts. aimed at advancing the ECOWAS regional integration program. He reminded everyone that part of the objectives of the ECBCSP include the strengthening of cross-border cooperation and the consolidation of peace, stability and development and support for the implementation of local community projects with an economic vocation. . He said that this assessment meeting was organized to identify and document the needs of women in cross-border regions to inform support in the implementation of gender development projects across borders.[Link]
Madame Bolanle Adetoun, Director of the ECOWAS Gender Development Center, in her remark, expressed her satisfaction at the enormous participation and participation of National and Local Actors in the virtual meeting aimed at strengthening support for Women in development. . She said there is nothing to say that support is needed for women in development actions, especially in the area of trade and free movement for sustainable development and mentions that in the area Of cross-border trade in the region, approximately 70% of the volume is carried out by women, making it a critical factor in development discourse and action. She believed that cross-border trade carried out by women provides livelihoods for many families in border communities and that significant efforts should be made to support these cross-border cooperation development initiatives in order to promote regional integration, in particular through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Initiative. She noted that addressing the challenges and constraints faced by women traders in border communities will also go a long way in promoting economic stability and development in CE-DEAO.
The meeting sparked interesting exchanges on local interventions and the needs of women in cross-border development and ended with joint decisions and recommendations that will serve as a basis for identifying and providing support for development projects. women in the cross-border areas of ECOWAS.