Solomon Odeniyi, Abuja
As part of efforts to ensure effective service delivery to the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States, the European Union and the German government’s foreign aid agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, donated computer equipment to the Commission.
The EU and GIZ donated the equipment to the Commission on Friday in Abuja during the official launch of the EU-funded ECOWAS Institutional Support Programme, which aims to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and the impact of EU aid in West Africa.
The equipment would help the commission meet international standards of good practice in order to access financial and other support from the EU and other global donor agencies and foreign governments.
The Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Cécile Tassin-Pelzer, said the program was developed to train internal staff who will in turn train Commission staff.
She explained that the internal trainers will support in conducting regular trainings for old and new staff of the ECOWAS institution.
She said: “This is a €4.85 million program also co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by GIZ.
“Today we will be handing over the equipment purchased under the program to support the training center and celebrate the graduation of the first batch of ECOWAS in-house trainers.
“The institutional support program that we are launching today was developed as an extension of previous programs aimed at strengthening public finance management and institutional reforms initiated by ECOWAS.
“The program started in December 2020 and aims to ensure that the ECOWAS Commission, as well as the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development achieve international standards in finance, auditing, accounting and resources human.
“This program provided support to the validation process of the revised ECOWAS Staff Regulations with a view to the preparation of harmonized human resources policies and procedures.
“As well as the drafting and validation of a new ECOWAS code of ethics.”
Also speaking at the event, the ECOWAS Institutional Support (ISE) component manager, Natalie Ba, said that for several years Germany has been supporting ECOWAS in building its capacity in strategic management and in its preparation for the evaluation of the EU pillar.
She said: “These two areas of support go hand in hand and offer great potential for synergies. The pillar assessment is a very thorough and in-depth assessment of an organization’s internal processes. It examines all aspects of the internal workings and processes within an organization and enables it to better implement its objectives. »
She noted that a pillar assessed by the ECOWAS Commission would achieve two major objectives: “First, it would allow the Commission to independently implement European Union funds. It would thus increase both its independence and its potential impact with more funds available for its programmes.
Secondly, it would prove that the Commission’s internal processes comply with international standards concerning, inter alia, internal control, accounting and auditing processes as well as data protection. Through this, the ECOWAS Commission could once again demonstrate to all its beneficiaries and stakeholders that it is a progressive and forward-looking organization that has been dedicated to excellence in all aspects of its operations.
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