The ECOWAS Commission adopted in December 2016 the Regulation PC/REX.4/12/16 establishing a Regional European Development Fund (EDF) Cell within the ECOWAS Commission to support the Regional Authorising Officer (RAO). The main objective of the Cell is the facilitation of project programming and preparation, coordination of activities with the different stakeholders, information,
communication and training.
The role of the cell is to provide support to the RAO on the following:
Identification, formulation, programming and coordination of the implementation of EU funded programmes;
Monitoring and evaluation and audits of the EU funded programmes;
Coordination among the ECOWAS departments involved in the implementation of the EU funded activities;;
Dialogue with the EU, West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), ECOWAS Member States, International Cooperating Partners (ICPs) and all stakeholders involved in the implementation of the EU funded programmes;
Support the preparation of meetings of the EU funded programmes governance bodies, including the Technical Working Group (TWG/GTT) and the Strategic Orientation Committee (SOC/COS) meetings;
Follow up and monitoring of the implementation of the decisions of the Strategic Orientation Committee;
Training to ensure the reinforcement of the capacities in the domains of programming, identification and formulation, implementation and financial & contractual management of EU funded programmes.
Development of information systems as well as other systems for monitoring and evaluation for the implementation of the programmes at contributing to the efficiency of the cooperation, improvement of the results, easing the information flows among stakeholders.
The Presidents of the ECOWAS Commission and the WAEMU Commission are the two designated Regional Authorising Officers (RAOs) for West Africa. The RAO configuration within ECOWAS comprises the RAO (President of the ECOWAS Commission) with two Deputy RAOs (the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission and the ECOWAS Commissioner for Finance). A RAO Support Unit (RAO-SU) is currently under the direct authority of the Director of External Relations, within the Office of the President of the ECOWAS Commission . Staff shortages have hampered the RAO-SU in its efforts to fully exercise its mandate. The ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) has a mandate to lead resource mobilisation actions for the benefit of (i) the Commission and other Community institutions for the financing of regional projects and programs; and for (ii) the ECOWAS Member States for project funding from both the public and private sectors. Weak performance during the Bank’s 2010-2014 Strategic Plan were mainly due to insufficient human resources, scarce concessional financial resources and lack of ownership by its staff. Implementation of the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan should enable EBID to improve its operational and financial performance, thereby consolidating its role as a financial arm of ECOWAS. Improving organisational efficiency is aimed at raising the Bank's operational and financial performance through compliance with international banking standards, the conduct of appropriate organisational reforms and the strengthening of institutional capacities.
The 11th EDF RIP (2014-2020) for EUR 1 150 000 000 was signed in July 2015 (reduced to EUR 1 070 000 000 following the mid-term review in 2017). The 10th EDF RIP (2008-2013), signed in November 2008, allocated an amount of EUR 597 000 000 (reduced to EUR 595 000 000 following various addenda). Project implementation modalities vary across a range of differing options. A significant proportion of EU aid to the West Africa Region is presently being delivered through delegation agreements with various international organisations and EU member state development agencies. This is due to the lack of compliance by the ECOWAS Commission with international standards on financial and administrative management. This denies the ECOWAS Commission access to contribution agreements to implement activities through indirect management, the preferred implementation modality for channelling EU funds. Likewise, non-certification of EBID denies the bank the possibility to participate in blending operations with the EU. Within the RIP, both the ECOWAS Commission and the EU have acted to strengthen the capacity of the ECOWAS Commission to coordinate EU funded projects and programmes . Therefore, the thrust of one component of this action offers support to the RAO in assuming ownership of the identification, formulation, monitoring of implementation, and evaluation and auditing of actions funded under the EDF and other EU funding instruments. Source : https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/3/2019/EN/C-2019-918-F1-EN-ANNEX-1-PART-1.PDF
Since August 2022, the RAP unit has extended its activities to the management of the projects of the various ECOWAS partners.
The new name of the cell is ECOWAS Development Partners Coordination Cell.