By John Ikani
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has secured a €81 million grant from Germany to support key areas of development in the region.
This marks a remarkable milestone as Germany’s decade-long commitment to ECOWAS reaches a cumulative €500 million.
Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, President of ECOWAS, made the announcement during the visit of the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, to Nigeria.
The grant’s primary focus will revolve around fostering peace and security, as well as enhancing social protection in the sub-region.
In President Touray’s own words, “We’ve recently reached an agreement for a €81 million grant generously provided by the German government and its people to support ECOWAS in various vital sectors.”
These sectors encompass building a peaceful and inclusive society, addressing climate and energy challenges, promoting sustainable economic development, bolstering healthcare, ensuring social protection, and catering to the region’s population.
Furthermore, Dr. Touray emphasized the shared commitment of ECOWAS and Germany to tackle the numerous challenges confronting the sub-region.
He highlighted the interdependence of these regions and how developments in one arena can significantly affect the other.
Dr. Touray conveyed his deep appreciation for Germany’s individual and European Union-supported contributions to the region, particularly in promoting peace, security, and good governance.
In response, Chancellor Scholz underscored the importance of supporting the sub-region in bolstering its infrastructure and institutions.
The support will not only enhance trade within ECOWAS countries but also strengthen the collective economic prowess of the nations united under this organization.
Chancellor Scholz also reaffirmed Germany’s commitment to cooperation with ECOWAS across various fronts, including healthcare, peace, and security.
In terms of security, he made it clear that Germany stands firmly with ECOWAS in its position regarding the Republic of Niger, unequivocally rejecting government takeovers.
He emphasized, “Peace and security in the region are paramount, especially in these turbulent times. It’s our collective responsibility to ensure stability and security, and ECOWAS has played a pivotal role in these efforts. We greatly value our collaboration with ECOWAS on this critical issue. We stand united in rejecting military coups and insisting on a return to constitutional order to preserve peace and security in the region.”