The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says its Regional Peace, Security and Stability Mandate Programme (ECOWAS-EU PSS Project) has recorded remarkable achievements.
The €29million project, supported by the European Union (EU), is designed to strengthen ECOWAS capacity to reinforce preventive measures, and restore conditions conducive to peace and security for a safe environment.
So far, the project has provided support to peacebuilding in The Gambia, built the capacity of the ECOWAS Peace Fund and PAPS department, as well as the development of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework (ECPF) action plans.
In addition, it has engineered web-based monitoring and evaluation system, gender mainstreaming, good governance, support to electoral observation missions in member states, curbing the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the region.
‘Apart from laying a solid foundation for its successor, ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) programme, the PSS Project also built synergy with the African Union’s peace and security architecture, member states and also provided linkages with other regional economic communities (RECs)’, ECOWAS Director of Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Sintiki Ugbe, said.
‘The PSS Project had cut across various directorates, including political affairs, social affairs and gender, peacekeeping and regional security, early warning, communication, monitoring and evaluation, external relations, finance and human resources, among others’.
The regional body thanked the EU, UNDP, Lite Africa and civil society organisations, especially the West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP), for supporting the successful implementation of the project.
According to the World Bank, election-related violence, longstanding ethno-national conflict, drug trafficking, maritime piracy, and extremism have emerged as new security threats in West Africa.
‘The [nine] year project underscored the benefits of partnership cooperation between ECOWAS and the EU’, a representative of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Eno Moma, said.
She also expressed optimism that the EPSAO programme would pick up from where the PSS project had left off towards deepening and broadening partnerships between the two regional bodies.
The Implementation of the ECOWAS-EU PSS began in 2015, with the objective of contributing to building and maintaining peace, security and stability as well as to restore and improve the conditions for development in West Africa.
Photo source: ECOWAS