The Focal Points of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) are fashioning out ways of developing new strategies to respond to emerging security threats in West Africa through a 3-Day Workshop which began on the 7th of December, 2022 in Lagos, Nigeria.
The workshop is meant, among others, to improve on the current level of synergy among ECPF Focal Point Directorates towards strengthening conflict prevention interventions in West Africa.
Addressing participants at the opening of the Workshop, the ECOWAS Commission’s Director, Political Affairs Dr. Aderemi Ajibewa opined that the exercise is coming at a time when the avowed goal of entrenching democracy and sustainable peace in West Africa is being put to a stern test with the prevalence of violent extremism, radicalisation and a resurgence of coup d’Etat in the ECOWAS region.
Expressing the collective gratitude of the ECOWAS Commission to the Royal Danish Government for its longstanding technical and financial support for the enhancement of conflict prevention, stability, peace and security, he submitted that the volatile political, economic, and security situation in the ECOWAS region demands a review and rethink of conflict prevention approaches and strategies.
“This also include innovative ways of responding adequately to the changing peace and security and governance context thereby consolidating democratic gains.” He added.
Following an overview of trends in the regional peace and security landscape which was given by the conflict prevention Programme Officer at the Directorate of Political Affairs Mr. Constant Gnacadja, supportive submissions were made by representative of the Directorate of Peacekeeping and Regional Security (DPKRS) Mr. Piex Ahoba which bordered on the need for a healthier information sharing practice of the various peacebuilding components of the Commission towards harmonised inter-directorate partnerships and collaboration.
Also speaking, the regional head, United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) Dr. James maintained that the mandate of UNOWAS is intrinsically linked with the ECPF programmes while the framework of partnership between UNOWAS and ECOWAS calls for consistent collaboration in the interest of the collective wellbeing of the people of the region.
Apart from identifying persistent and emerging security threats in West Africa, the retreat will also feature presentations on planned activities, achievements, the development of new ECPF
Plans of Action (PoA), as well as challenges and lessons learnt from the implementation of the 2018-2021 PoA, among others. Participants will further reflect on priority areas to be taken on board for the (2023-2026) next generation PoA.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).