Michael Olugbode in Abuja
The European Union (EU) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German government’s foreign aid agency, have handed over IT equipment to the ECOWAS Commission to ensure efficient service delivery to the West African regional body.
This was part of the technical assistance to ensure that ECOWAS meets international best practice standards in order to access financial and other support from the EU and other global donor agencies and foreign governments.
The EU and GIZ donated the equipment to the Commission on Friday in Abuja at the official launch of the EU-funded ECOWAS Institutional Support Program (ISE), which aims to enhance the efficiency, l efficiency and impact of EU aid in West Africa. . Speaking during the program held at the ECOWAS Training Center in Abuja, the Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mrs. Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, said that 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: “I am pleased to welcome you to the official launch of the EU-funded ECOWAS Institutional Support Programme. “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 (EBID) achieve international standards in finance, auditing, accounting and human resources.
“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,” Tassin-Pelzer said. 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. This would thus increase both its independence but also its potential impact with more funds available to use for its programs. Secondly, it would prove that the Commission’s internal processes comply with international standards of – among others – 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.
She added that: “For Germany, there is a clear interest in supporting the ECOWAS Commission, increasing the reputation of this regional body and thus showing the value of our past cooperation and laying the foundations of its future”.
The Commissioner for Human Resources of the ECOWAS Commission, Prof. Dias Jeremias, who represented the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, at the event, explained that the Institutional Support to ECOWAS (ISE) was set up to strengthen the efficiency, the efficiency and impact of EU aid in West Africa.
He noted that: “The ISE, which is part of the global action “Support to the ECOWAS Commission on Organizational Development” (GIZ OD) commissioned by BMZ has provided technical assistance on institutional reforms to the ECOWAS Commission and EBID. Since the signing of the contribution agreement between the stakeholders and the commissioning by the BMZ towards the end of 2020, the ISE which is jointly funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry of Cooperation Development (BMZ) is committed to supporting both the ECOWAS Commission and EBID which aims to prepare both institutions for EU Pillar certification to directly manage funds provided by the European Union.