Participants from the Republic of Benin, Civil Society and other national stakeholders converged at the Azalai Hotel in Cotonou for a three-day workshop, from 14 – 16 November 2023, for an In-Country Pilot Capacity Building Training for National Stakeholders and Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Focal Persons on the Continental Results Framework (CRF) for Monitoring and Reporting of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda.
The workshop was aimed at enhancing the capacity of National Stakeholders in Monitoring and Reporting on WPS issues using the CRF tool, Improving the understanding by key stakeholders of their roles in monitoring and reporting on the WPS agenda and enhance the implementation of National Action Plans on WPS by improving on feedback on the implementation of plans.
Mr Bekaye Coulibaly, Head of Civilian Component of the ECOWAS Standby Force, who represented Dr. Sintiki Tarfa-Ugbe, Director, Humanitarian and Social Affairs of the ECOWAS Commission, in his welcome remarks said, the ECOWAS Commission, with the support of the GIZ EPSAO project, has developed a simplified version of the AU CRF tool for West Africa, that will support Member States in monitoring and reporting on the WPS Agenda. To this end, the directorate is building the capacities of WPS stakeholders in member states with Benin being the third country benefiting from the training after Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire.
Mrs. Tamwakat Golit, GIZ-EPSAO Women, Peace, and Security Expert (Embedded in the ECOWAS Commission), who spoke on behalf of Yvonne Akpasom, Head of the GIZ-EPSAO Project. In her remarks, she congratulated the ECOWAS Commission for sustaining the momentum in the processes to operationalize the Continental Results Framework in the West African Region and further re-iterated the commitment of GIZ-EPSAO in accompanying the ECOWAS Commission in implementing its WPS mandate.
Mr. Amadou Diongue, ECOWAS Résident Représentative in the Republic of Benin, in his remarks, emphasized the importance of creating a more inclusive and secure society where women’s voices are heard, their rights are respected and their contributions are valued, most especially as the West African Region continues to face challenges to peace, security and stability. In order to help in ensuring that a coherent follow-up of the progress of the objectives set by the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Benin is achieved, he reiterated the readiness of the ECOWAS Representation in accompanying the process in Benin.
In her opening remarks, Mme. Veronique Tognifode, Minister of Social Affairs and Microfinance of the Republic of Benin reiterated the commitment of the government of the Republic of Benin in implementing the WPS agenda, which is evident in the development and adoption of its National Action Plan in 2017. She mentioned that though Benin has not experienced any conflicts, there are multiple situations of tension that threaten the social balance, peace and national stability of the country. In closing, she called for more collaboration to support Benin in implementing its National Action Plan and expressed gratitude to the delegation of the ECOWAS Commission and the representatives of GIZ-EPSAO for their technical and financial support for the organization of the workshop.
The workshop was organized by the ECOWAS Directorate for Humanitarian and Social Affairs (DHSA) in collaboration with relevant Directorates and Agencies with the financial and technical support of the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) Project -co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented with the support of GIZ.
The workshop is being attended by about 30 participants drawn from the focal points of ministries, departments, and agencies of the Republic of Benin as well as participants from development organizations, civil society and the media.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).