The Technical Committee of the West Africa Trade Facilitation Program (FEAO) held its 9th session on December 6, 2022, by videoconference to take stock of the activities carried out since the launch of the program in October 2018 and consider the prospects for support from technical and financial partners to the ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions at the end of the Program in March 2023.
At the opening of the meeting, Mr. Salifou TIEMTORE, Director of Customs Union and Taxation, Chairman of the FEAO Technical Committee, on behalf of Mrs. Massandjé Touré-Litsé, Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture of the ECOWAS Commission, which chairs the FEAO Steering Committee, thanked the participants for their commitment to ECOWAS for the success of this virtual meeting.
During this session, Ms. Rose Kabran, Director of Trade of the UEMOA Commission, whose institution holds the vice-presidency of the Technical Committee, and Kolawole A. SOFOLA, Acting Director of Trade as well as the representatives of the Center of ECOWAS for Gender Development each took stock of the activities they have carried out within the framework of the FEAO, and in relation to the three components of the program which are: (i) Improvement and more effective implementation of measures to facilitate trade, (ii) More efficient movement of goods along selected corridors and (iii) Reduction of barriers for small traders with a focus on improving conditions for women traders.
Other interventions were made during the virtual meeting by experts from the ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions, GIZ and the World Bank as well as by technical and financial partners, including those of Mrs. Inga Stefanowicz of the Union Europe, Micheal Anderson from USAID, Folkert Hottinga from the Dutch Cooperation Agency who all praised the commitment of ECOWAS and UEMOA for the results obtained since the launch of the program despite the health challenge of COVID and the regional security challenge.
As a reminder, the West Africa Trade Facilitation Program (FEAO) is an initiative led by multiple development partners which aims to improve existing trade facilitation measures in West Africa. The program aims to reduce trade delays and costs borne by the private sector, in particular by improving the movement of goods along certain corridors and by supporting small traders.
The FEAO program is managed and implemented by the World Bank Group and the German Agency for Development Cooperation (GIZ), which are the program’s implementing partners, under the strategic supervision of a steering committee. chaired by the ECOWAS Commission and assisted by the WAEMU Commission.