The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), H.E Jean Claude Kassi Brou and the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Republic of Germany, Dr Gerd Müller deliberated on measures to improve security in the region in a meeting on 3rd February 2020 in Abuja, Nigeria.
Addressing the German Minister, President Brou commended the multi-dimensional nature of the cooperation between the German government and the ECOWAS Commission and described the meeting as yet another opportunity to review key elements of collaboration and discuss issues of common interest.
The ECOWAS Commission’s President identified the stability and security situation in Libya as a factor that has directly affected not only the Sahel region but the whole of West Africa and called on Germany and the international community to do what they can to address it.
He proceeded to brief the German delegation on the strategic plan of action which has been put in place by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Governments in order to curb the deteriorating security situation in the region brought about by increased and more sophisticated terrorist activity.
President Brou stated that the action plan involves a security component which includes the training of security forces, the provision of equipment, intelligence sharing among security agencies of ECOWAS Member States and a civilian component of sensitizing community citizens, engaging religious leaders and improving the living conditions of the locals and the infrastructure of the areas most affected by terrorism.
In order to achieve this, President Brou stated that ECOWAS is planning to hold a round-table conference to seek technical and financial support from partners to execute its strategy.
On his part, Dr Gerd Müller, commended the giant strides taken by ECOWAS to improve the lives of Community citizens and ensure their safety. He however noted that support of international Community has not been sufficient in assisting ECOWAS to address its security challenges and called on African countries to step up their contributions, especially in the area of providing more troops to the Sahel region.
Dr. Müller also highlighted the German government’s contribution to the improvement of living standards in the region citing the stabilization fund which started with The Gambia. He used the opportunity to call on more countries to join the stabilization fund which will improve infrastructure in the region.
Accompanying the German Minister was the Ambassador of the Republic of Germany to Nigeria and ECOWAS, H.E Birgitt Ory.