The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States have renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed since the year 2000 to foster cooperation and mutual development.
The signing of the document was done by the ECOWAS Commission president, Marcel de Souza, and the Secretary-General of the ACP Group of States, Dr Patrick Gomes.
West Africa is home to the world’s two leading producers of cocoa— Ghana and Ivory Coast, besides numerous other natural resources, yet countries of the sub-region continue to rank high among the world’s poorest.
The campaign to change the narrative of the aid-based relationship between Africa and the West to that of a partnership was recently reiterated by Ghana’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo during a joint press conference held with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron.
West African countries continue to depend on Western-aid for infrastructural and other areas of development, whilst lack of jobs and youth unemployment remain a big and multi-sectoral issue.
Renewing the economic agreement between the ECOWAS and the ACP Group of States is aimed at boosting the social and economic fortunes of the two sub-regions, leading to among others, job creation.
The agreement will focus on peace, security, rule of law, good governance, migration, humanitarian issues, health, education and culture, as well as on regional economic integration, capacity building, environment, private sector development, investment promotion, and development cooperation.
The renewed partnership is also expected to promote South-South cooperation between member states of both organizations and other developing countries.
BY DANIEL ABUGAH