The visiting German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has announced the latest financial and technical cooperation commitment of €80.75 million to boost to support ongoing programmes and projects under the ECOWAS-German Cooperation for the period 2023-2024.
Scholz who disclosed this yesterday during his visit to the President, Economic Community of West African States, Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, said the fund would focus specially on the thematic areas of Peaceful and Inclusive Societies; Climate and Energy; constitutional transition in government.
Other areas of focus include, Sustainable Economic Development, Training and Employment; Health, Social Protection and Population Policy.
The latest financial commitment brought the volume of Technical and Financial Cooperation between ECOWAS and Germany since 1985 to approximately €494.41 million
Welcoming Scholz to the Commission in Abuja, Touray commended German Government for its commitment to ECOWAS and the integration agenda in West Africa.
He further expressed the Commission’s commitment to strengthening existing
Cooperation, adding that the Chancellors visit marked a new phase of cooperation, “which will allow the region to enjoy the benefits of the development and expertise of Germany.”
“Recently, we concluded an agreement of €81million that the government and the people of Germany have decided to grant ECOWAS to support us in various areas.
“The grant will cover areas such as peaceful and inclusive society, climate and energy transition, sustainable and economic development, health, social protection and population. These are important sectors and we appreciate Germany for their support.”
Touray informed that ECOWAS and Germany have agreed to work closely to address the numerous challenges confronting West African sub-region.
“During our discussion, we talked about the challenges that this region is facing such as insecurity and infrastructure deficit. We have agreed to continue working together. Our regions are closely linked. What happens in one area affects the other.
We thank you for the support in various areas. We are mindful of what these areas hold for our development.
We appreciate what Germany is doing individually and through the European Union to support this region. We are appreciative of the partnership that the region continues to enjoy with Germany and the EU particularly in the area of peace, security and strong governance.”
Speaking on the relationship with ECOWAS, the German Chancellor stressed the commitment to support the sub-region in developing its infrastructure deficit and other institutions.
According to him, the support was important to improve trade exchange in the sub-region.
He said: “These are structures that we have to see set up in order to improve the exchange at the level of ECOWAS countries. Strengthen the economy, strengthen power of countries that are united in this organization.
All the developmental support we give to many countries will help the economy to be strengthened and will help them boost foreign trade”, he said.
Warning that incessant coup in the region will worsen security situation in the sub-region, the German Chancellor condemned “evil take-over of government and pledged his country’s commitment towards ECOWAS on its stand against the Republic of Niger.
He said: “The situation of peace and security in the region is important. The times are turbulent and we have to make sure that in such times, peace and security can be provided. ECOWAS has played an important part in the recent past as far as that was concerned.
“So, we particularly value the exchange with ECOWAS on this subject matter. It is about not accepting military coups, demanding that a constitutional authority takes place and providing for peace and security in the region.”