By Victoria Ojeme and Fortune Eromosele

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Thursday, rolled-out a ‘Draft ECOWAS Vision 2050’ roadmap to promote Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, in West Africa.

The draft roadmap was unveiled during the retreat of the Permanent Representatives Committee on the Draft ECOWAS Vision 2050 in Abuja.

Recall that the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government adopted the ECOWAS Vision 2020 in June 2007 as a strategic framework for the transformation of ECOWAS into a borderless, peaceful, and prosperous region, the implementation of which came to an end in December 2020.

In 2018, the Council of Ministers adopted a 5-phase roadmap for the preparation of the Post 2020 Vision, subsequently referred to as ECOWAS Vision 2050.

This roadmap was compromised of the following actions: a preparatory phase, an assessment of ECOWAS Vision 2020, the formulating and drafting of Vision 2050, the review and validation of Vision 2050; and the adoption of Vision 2050 by the competent organs of the community.

In his keynote address, the President of the ECOWAS Commission Jean-Claude Brou disclosed that all three phases of the roadmap have been successfully completed, adding that the retreat gets the ball rolling for the validation process leading to the endorsement by the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in December 2021.

Describing the purpose of the ECOWAS Vision 2050, he said, “It seeks to build on the accomplishments of Vision 2020, which has set a strong foundation for the movement from an ‘ECOWAS of States’ to an ‘ECOWAS of Peoples’, with more inclusive and sustainable development programmes.

“The vision statement aims to consolidate the major achievements of our community over the years, while exploring new opportunities especially in the area of new technologies and innovations. It also aims to address and mitigate emerging challenges within the region and globally.”

Speaking also, Acting Chairman, ECOWAS Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC), Mr. Eddison Agbenyegah, commended the ECOWAS Commission for drafting the Vision 2050 as it makes room for improvements in the West African Community.

“I am certain that in drafting the ECOWAS Vision 2050, the ECOWAS Commission and all those who have contributed so far, including the consultants (CAPEC) have taken into consideration, the achievements, failures and challenges of Vision 2020 as well as the provisions of existing strategic Visions such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 in order to prevent us from reinventing the wheel”, he stressed.

In his goodwill message, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said “the designing of a roadmap for a seamless transition from Vision 2020 to ECOWAS Vision 2050 is a step in the right direction as this will form up the aspirations and developmental priorities of West African citizens over the next 30 years.

“In repositioning itself to better serve the community citizens the ECOWAS Vision 2020 was adopted, it however came to end in December 2020. The regional will to achieve an ECOWAS of the people is still in progress as the region still faces challenges in the areas of integration and sustainable development.”

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.