Calls for efforts to speed up implementation of  ECOWAS Human Capital Development Strategy

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 10 May 2024:

Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Mrs Damtien L. Tchintchibidja (Photo above), opened a three-day regional technical conference on Human Capital Development (HCD) in Accra, Ghana, on Wednesday 8 May 2024.

This meeting of experts and focal points from Member States, organised by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, aims to strengthen the commitment of Member States, partners and ECOWAS technical staff to Human Capital Development at regional and national levels.

In her opening speech, the Vice-President of the Commission, H.E. Damtien L. Tchintchibidja, said that since the launch of the regional strategy in 2021, ECOWAS has actively supported the development of national HCD strategies and significant results have been achieved.

“Today, we can proudly say that seven (7) out of 15 ECOWAS Member States have received ECOWAS funds to support the development of their strategies. Nigeria and Burkina Faso have completed the development of their national HCD strategies. The Federal Republic of Nigeria has moved on to implement its strategy at Federal State level, with substantial support from ECOWAS,” she added.

H.E. Damtien L. Tchintchibidja pointed out in her speech that in their efforts to achieve these HCD objectives, ECOWAS Member States are faced with a number of challenges: political instability, growing insecurity, terrorist attacks, climate change, epidemics and economic migration; and that despite these challenges, ECOWAS is determined to continue implementing the HCD programme.

At the opening ceremony, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank, technical and financial partners of ECOWAS, reiterated their commitment to continue working with ECOWAS to meet the challenges of human capital development.

Ms Charlotte Lejeune of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reaffirmed her institution’s commitment to promoting human capital development through its partnership with ECOWAS, focusing on innovative solutions to improve education, health, nutrition and financial inclusion in West Africa.

Mr Robert Taliercio O’Brien, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Sierra Leone and Liberia, in his message, mentioned the demographic, economic and climatic challenges facing West Africa, where 65% of the population is under the age of 25, and stressed the need for ECOWAS Member States and partners to work in a coordinated manner.

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