ECOWAS Launches Survey On Non-State Actors
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Thursday launched a survey to collect data on Non-State Actors (NSAs), including non governmental organisations, aimed at building a comprehensive database and assess their contribution to sub-regional development. The data will help classify NSAs according to their area of activities, categorise and build a comprehensive directory, assess the contributions of NSAs in regional employment and to enable the ECOWAS to have a better understanding of the needs and aspiration of NSAs towards ECOWAS programmes. The launch is in line with Vision 2020 adopted by ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in June 2007 with the view to transforming the current ECOWAS into an “ECOWAS of peoples” to make a meaningful impact in the lives of the citizens of the various states. To operationalise this vision, the ECOWAS Commission initiated the formulation of the Community Development Programme (CDP) in May 2008, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso with greater emphasis on participatory and inclusive approaches of all ECOWAS citizens, especially the Non-State Actors (NSAs) such as civil society, media, private sector, trade unions and researchers. The overall objective of the workshop is to promote a better visibility and understanding of NSAs, activities of NSAs in the ECOWAS region, sensitise NSAs and their partners on the importance of the ECOWAS/NSA database, collect data required to develop the NSA database and empower key NSA actors, ECOWAS National Units and CDP National Committee. The launch is also designed to develop an independent process to enhance the efficient organisation and contribution of NSAs to the CDP. Professor Lambert Bamba, Commissioner of Macroeconomic Policy, ECOWAS Commission, said in a speech read for him that the success of the transformation of the Vision 2020 would require the Commission and Member States to take ownership of the vision and have a good knowledge of NSAs. Despite their expertise, Prof. Bamba urged the NSAs to work with government in the implementation of development and integration agenda to achieve the vision 2020 of ECOWAS.Mr Sylvester Bagoro, Policy Analyst at the Centre for Budget Advocacy, said integration had not moved at a faster pace in the sub-region, and that intra-regional trade was still very low. He said the survey would help the Commission to know the various expertise of NSAs to enable them to direct resources where they could best make an impact.