Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musah, the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security at the ECOWAS Commission, emphasized that member states need to take ownership and commit to the effective implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Vision 2050 for its success.
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He highlighted that the implementation of the ECOWAS Vision 2020 provided valuable lessons that showed political will and leadership alone were not enough for Vision 2050’s success. Dr. Musah made these remarks during the opening ceremony of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) 17th General Assembly, Fellows Conference, and Partners Forum in Accra, held under the theme “ECOWAS Vision 2050: Towards an enhanced state-citizens relationship.”
The ECOWAS Vision 2050 aims to create a fully integrated community of people in a peaceful, prosperous region with strong institutions and respect for fundamental freedoms and working towards inclusive and sustainable development.
The vision has five pillars, which include a secure, stable and peaceful region; a region with strong institutions that comply with the rule of law and fundamental freedoms; a fully integrated and prosperous region; a region mobilized for transformation, inclusive and sustainable development; and a community of people fully inclusive of women, youth and children.
Dr. Musah emphasized that Vision 2050 placed the well-being of West African citizens and their development at the heart of its agenda and sought to promote an inclusive society in which special attention was paid to the most vulnerable segments of the population, especially women and young people.
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However, he also highlighted that the projected goals of Vision 2050 faced the risk of non-accomplishment in the face of shocks associated with the political, economic, social, and environmental landscape.
To address these challenges, ECOWAS has prioritized peace and security, counter-terrorism, good governance, and equitable partnerships. WANEP Executive Director, Dr. Chukwuemeka B. Eze, emphasized that enhancing the trust and confidence of citizens and the state required carrying citizens along in the conceptualization, design, and implementation of state policies.
He also highlighted the need for infrastructure that fosters citizen-state relationships, which goes beyond intergovernmental civil society organization partnership.
Prof. Oumar Ndongo, Board Chair of WANEP, highlighted that the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine crisis had eroded hard-won gains in security, poverty reduction, and gender equity, and showed signs of becoming a permanent fixture in many lives. In response to these challenges, WANEP has continued to support the efforts of ECOWAS, AU, and its member states in finding solutions to common challenges.