The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has said it is ready to dedicate a large chunk of its 2023 budget towards combating the scourge of terrorism and political instability in West Africa.
Head of the commission, Omar Touray, revealed that the 2023 community budget would focus on action plans against terrorism and political stability among its four strategic objective plans.
He made this known at the opening of the 32nd meeting of the ECOWAS Administrative and Finance Committee (AFC) in Abuja.
Touray, in his speech, said the 2023 community budget of ‘Consolidation and Reforms’ was prepared to ensure the consolidation of the gains made in the institutional reform process and support the region’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia war.
The ECOWAS president also disclosed that the budget was designed to set the agenda for the next four years, aimed at putting the region back on track for regional integration.
According to Statista, several violent extremist organisations are active in West Africa, causing battles, explosions, violence against civilians, and counter-terrorism actions.
In West Africa, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Mali have been identified as the most impacted countries by extremist and terror events.
ECOWAS said its four strategic objectives for the next four years are enhanced peace and security; deeper regional integration; good governance; and inclusive and sustained development
‘In addition to these four strategic objectives, we have identified two enablers, namely, capable institutions and equitable partnerships, which would facilitate the realisation of our objectives’, Touray said.
He noted that the focus was on strengthening the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and achieving results related to the implementation plan against terrorism, the full operationalisation of the ECOWAS maritime security architecture, the full operationalisation of the national early warning and response centres, and building the mediation and rapid response capacity of ECOWAS.
Photo source: Reuters