On 28th April 2023, the ECOWAS Fund for Regional Stabilization and Development (FRSD) held its 5th Steering Board meeting, on the margins of the ECOWAS Vice President’s mission in Berlin, Germany. The meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Mrs. Damtien L. Tchintchibidja, Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission, and Dr. Silvia Morgenroth, Head of Division West Africa II, at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
As part of her opening statement, H.E. Mrs. Damtien L. Tchintchibidja, stressed the relevance of the Stabilization Fund, in view of the prevailing development challenges in the region and the need to systematically build resilience in fragile communities to enhance sustainable development in the region. She reiterated the commitment of the ECOWAS Commission towards the Fund, which includes financial investment of $1.2 million in the Gambia Pilot project, as well as an annual minimum of $1 million to be invested in health systems development in the targeted fragile communities, to complement activities of KfW and GIZ.
On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Dr. Silvia Morgenroth, Head of Division West Africa II, congratulated the ECOWAS Commission for its role in facilitating peace and security in the ECOWAS region. She highlighted prevailing challenges in the region for which the Stabilization Fund is expected to provide a vehicle that combines the Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) nexus to strengthen human and institutional capacity for resilience building. She mentioned that the BMZ is being guided by New Africa policy that promotes a regional approach through the African Union and ECOWAS, for the adoption of African solutions for prevailing development challenges in the region.
Following presentations by the Fund Management Unit on the status of project implementation in Niger and Guinea Bissau, as well as an eligibility assessment report of Togo and Benin, the meeting concluded on two key decisions as follows;
The timeline of the Financial Cooperation Window of the Fund’s current phase two was extended from June 2023 to December 2025;
Togo and Benin were selected as new beneficiary countries to receive support in the current phase two of the Fund. This was in view of the need to build resilience for countries along the Gulf of Guinea to mitigate against spillover effects of crisis from the Sahel.
The meeting was also attended Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development & Social Affairs, Director and Staff of the ECOWAS Early Warning Directorate, as well as representatives of the KfW Development Bank, GIZ, and the Fund Management Unit of the Stabilization Fund.