The ECOWAS Commission through the Directorate of Free Movement of Persons and Migration organised a meeting for Needs Assessment and Project Identification for Cross-Border Women in Development Networks (WID). The event took place in Accra, Ghana, from the 14th to the 18th of August 2023.
The primary objective of the meeting was to assess the needs and identify potential areas of intervention for women in border communities across ECOWAS Member States. This first phase of the meeting brought together representatives of Women Groups from Benin, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, and Nigeria.
Mr. Albert Siaw-Boateng, the Director of Free Movement of Persons and Migration at the ECOWAS Commission, delivered the opening remarks on behalf of the Commissioner in charge of Economic Affairs and Agriculture, Mrs. Massandjé Touré-Litse. During his speech, he emphasized the importance of assessing the needs of women in development and exploring possible areas of intervention. He further highlighted the ECOWAS financial grant offered to the Women in Development Networks, which Member States can access to enhance women’s capabilities and provide support for small and medium-scale enterprises.
“The ECOWAS Commission and the Directorate of Free Movement of Persons and Migration remain committed to fostering regional integration and socioeconomic development within the region. Initiatives like the WID Networks in border communities play a vital role in advancing these objectives”, the Director affirmed.
He reaffirmed the commitment of the ECOWAS Commission and the Directorate of Free Movement of Persons and Migration to foster Regional Integration and socioeconomic development within the region, spearheaded by initiatives like the WID Networks in border communities.
Mrs. Atinuke Folashade Oloni, the Representative from the Ministry in Charge of Women’s Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Chairperson of the Meeting, emphasized the significance of the meeting, highlighting that it marked a pivotal stride toward the actualization of the WID Networks.
During the meeting, several projects were endorsed to address the needs of women in border communities and ease mobility in region. These projects include:
- Benin: Cross-border empowerment and transit centre for women (Centre Transfrontalier d’Autonomisation et de Transit pour les Femmes de Grand-Popo), to be based at the Hillacondji border;
- Ghana: ECOWAS Cross-Border “On the Border Rest Stop” for Women, to be based at the Ghana-Togo and Ghana-Burkina Faso borders;
- Guinea-Bissau: Women’s Transitional Shelter (Centro de Acolhimento Transitorio para las Mujeres), to be based at the border areas;
- Nigeria: ECBCSP-Cross-Border Women Hub, to be based at the Seme-Krake border.
The Cross-Border Women in Development Networks (WID) Initiative was developed by the ECOWAS Commission through its Directorate of Free Movement of Persons and Migration in recognition of the important role of women towards regional integration and the implementation of the ECOWAS Cross-Border Cooperation Support Programme (ECBCSP). The main aim is to assess and identify critical areas of intervention in order to build the capacity of women in border communities and empower them through Trade, Agriculture, Healthcare, Education amongst others.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).