By Temitope Ponle
The U.S. Government has supported the ECOWAS with Information Technology and Communication equipment to enhance its early warning mechanism, as part of its partnership to promote peace and security within the sub-region.
Mrs Halima Ahmed, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security said in a statement on Friday in Abuja that the gesture would enable the Early Warning Directorate to achieve its objectives and mandate.
“The equipment will enhance the capacity and coordination of National Early Warning and Response Centres in member states, as well as the collation of relevant data within the community,” she said.
Ahmed further expressed gratitude to the U.S. Government for its continued support to peace and security in West Africa.
Also, Mr Derell Kennedo, Political Officer of the U.S. Embassy, expressed the interest of the U.S. in peace and security within the region.
Kennedo said that peace and stability in West Africa would not only benefit ECOWAS citizens but also the U.S.
Two vehicles were also presented to the community’s Early Warning Directorate.
It would be recalled that ECOWAS and the U.S. signed a certificate of recognition in attestation of the multi-year Development Agreement between the two institutions, originally signed on November 21, 2015.
Under this agreement signed by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel de Souza, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) West Africa Regional Mission Director, Alexandre Deprez, the U.S. Government would provide up to U.S. $221 million over the period of five years, 2015 to 2019 in support of activities promoting ECOWAS priorities.
The agreement would also see USAID support the strengthening of democratic institutions; enhance economic growth, Trade and investment as well as Peace and Security in the region.
Over the five year period, the agreement aims to also increase opportunities and development in Sub-Sahara Africa in the health and education sectors.