The West Africa Regional Seminar on the Programming of the European Union (EU) Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – 2021-2027, is underway in Accra.
The objective of the three-day meeting is to enable ECOWAS, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and Member States to share information about their level of readiness in submitting projects/initiatives to be funded through the regional Multi-Annual Indicative Programme 2021-2027.
The EU regional programming in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is changing; a new single instrument, the NDICI, replaces previous instruments, including the European Development Fund (EDF), for the period 2021-2027.
Under this new instrument, there will be a single regional programme for SSA.
Only initiatives where there is a clear added value to address an issue from a regional perspective will be supported under this regional programme.
Participants attending the Accra meeting were drawn ECOWAS and WAEMU Commissions, West Africa Health Organization (WAHO), Inter Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), and ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERERA).
Others are the West African Power Pool (WAPP), ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), Banque Ouest-Africaine de Développement (BOAD) and experts from ECOWAS Member states such as Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Togo, Nigeria, Niger, Senegal, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Benin and Guinea Bissau.
Mr Jeromeh K. Boa, Acting Director of External Relations, ECOWAS Commission, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said the purpose of the Accra Meeting was to update and harmonize a list of ready to be funded West African regional projects/initiatives.
He said it also sought to address emerging needs and meeting set criteria of the NDICI that would complement and add value to selected Multi-Annual Indicative Programme for Sub-Saharan Africa (regional MIP).
He said they would be looking at key priority areas such as peace and security, emerging issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and digital economy.
Mr Boa said the NDICI project, which started last year included Sub-Saharan Africa, and that 40 per cent of the funding for Sub-Saharan Africa, had been allocated to West Africa.
That is €29.18 billion was allocated for Sub-Saharan Africa, of which West Africa had €11.6 billion.
He said the Fund would be used to fund key projects in the West Africa subregion, adding that they need to make sure that they had key projects that were aligned with the vision and development of the subregion.
Mr Assoukou Raymond Krikpeu, West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Commission Resident Representative in Brussels, said the NDICI, which replaced previous instruments, would serve as a framework of cooperation between nations of the West Africa subregion and the EU.
He said the NDICI comes to guide the subregion’s future actions in terms of development and cooperation.