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ECOWAS Commission President Kadré Desiré Ouedraogo reaffirms the complementarity of WAI with ECOWAS

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On 20 March 2013, the President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), HE Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, visited the West Africa Institute (WAI) together with he delegation including Ibrahim Bocar Ba, ECOWAS Commissioner in charge of the macroeconomic policy, and Mr. Sunday Ugoh, ECOWAS Communication officer.

He was welcomed by the Chairman of its Board of Directors of WAI, Mr. José Brito, who gave a short overview of the history and mission of WAI. Mr. Brito urged that as a think-tank and a facilitator of the dialogue between all stakeholders of regional integration in West Africa WAI could add value to ECOWAS.

WAI Program Manager, Prof. Wautabouna Ouattara, presented the main activities of WAI in the fields of research, dialogue, capacity development and parternships. In this context he particularly mentioned the strategic partnerships of WAI with OSIWA (Open Society Initiative for West Africa) and ZEI (Center for European Integration Studies).

President Ouédraogo thanked and congratulated the Secretariat of WAI for the remarkable work done in so little time and with limited means. The President of the Commission confirmed that the WAI activities were very important to guide action in the daily lives of the ECOWAS: ”We are aware that the reflection and analysis should guide the action. We also know we need your critical eye and your network of researchers”.

He expressed the wish to link WAI closer the agenda of ECOWAS and to strengthen the ties between both institutions: "WAI is an important institution because its mission is pioneering work in West Africa."

He invited WAI to actively take part in the preparation of the activities surrounding the 40th anniversary of ECOIWAS by contributing academic expertise on the record of ECOWAS policies since its establishment in 1975.

Continuing his speech, the President of the ECOWAS Commission added that to enrich the analysis and dialogue on regional integration, ECOWAS should also inform the Ambassadors, Directors, Executives and Representatives of the institutions of regional integration in West Africa about the results of WAI´s research and even include them into the research process.

With regard to the important results achieved by WAI, the Chairman of the Commission acknowledged that financial support is needed to help the Institute to reach the objectives that have been entrusted and that ECOWAS will therefore not only meet its financial commitments but also strengthen its financial contribution.

Mr. Ibrahim Bocar Bâ, Commissioner in charge of macroeconomic policy, endorsed the commitments of the President of the Commission, and asked for a close collaboration between WAI and the researchers of EPAU (ECOWAS Economic Policy Analysis Unit) in a way to harmonize efforts for a deeper analysis of the integration process.


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