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ECOWAS finds ways of cracking the citizens potential

Ecowas Map
Ecowas Map

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is implementing strategies to unlock the full potential of its citizens through human capital development, a senior official has said.

Damtien Tchintchibidja, the vice president of the ECOWAS Commission, said during the 2024 ECOWAS Human Capital Development Technical Conference in the Ghanaian capital of Accra that since West Africa’s population is young, the region needs to advance the potential of the youth to ensure a sustainable path toward economic and social advancement.

But due to limited opportunities, she said, the full potential of the young population is not being fully harnessed, and challenges such as high unemployment, widespread illiteracy, and restricted access to basic social services prevail, with women bearing the brunt of these issues disproportionately.

ECOWAS has introduced and actively supported the development of national human capacity development (HCD) strategies within member states, making significant strides during the first phase, Tchintchibidja said.

She said the ECOWAS HCD project is in the second phase with an intensified commitment to unlocking and nurturing the full potential of the citizens.

“If we are successful, HCD will power regional growth, enhance security and stability, accelerate the delivery of national development goals, and drive socioeconomic inclusion,” Tchintchibidja said.

Robert Taliercio, World Bank country director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, said the World Bank Group strongly supports the ECOWAS Human Capital Development Strategy and the efforts to advance its implementation in member states.

“The World Bank is pursuing some specific human capital priorities in West Africa in the areas of investments in health, education, social protection systems and capacities, health security, adolescent girls’ education, and empowerment,” Taliercio said. “In these, like in other areas, we are working with governments in West Africa to achieve greater impact at scale.”

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