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Steering Committee SWAIMS




12th March 2020

Summary of Key Discussions, Conclusions and Action Points on the Agenda.


The meeting was co-chaired by the European Union Delegation (EUD) in Nigeria and the ECOWAS Commission with some participants using video conference (EUD and Human Dynamics). The ECOWAS Chair thanked the EU for its support and highlighted the need in addressing security threats in the region. The EUD Co-Chair expressed his delight in having the meeting and stated the reason why the EU has to limit its interaction due to the COVID19. Maritime security is a priority for the EU, and its new comprehensive strategy for Africa showcases its continued commitment to remain engaged in the continent, particularly the Gulf of Guinea. The EU is committed to supporting the Yaoundé architecture and making SWAIMS a success. He however cautioned the need to make steps towards the implementation of all the components of the SWAIMS project.

1. Adoption of Agenda

The proposed draft agenda was presented and adopted after amendments (annex.). The item “Presentation and Validation of the SWAIMS logo” was discussed and removed from the agenda. It was agreed that the EUD and ECOWAS’s respective communication and visibility teams would see the relevance of a specific logo for SWAIMS and, if necessary, review the logo proposed. 26 March 2020 was given as the deadline for feedback on this issue. The project management unit (PMU) must follow up. Clarity was sought on the presentation of the inception phase.

Then the issue of the meeting documents’ readiness was discussed. It was agreed that the documents of the Project steering committee (PSC) must be ready and sent to the participants two weeks prior to the meeting. In this respect, the EU and ECOWAS must fix the dates of the subsequent meetings promptly and with enough notice. This also applies to the Technical coordination committee (TCC). It was proposed that a tentative date of the upcoming PSC meeting be fixed during the meeting.

2. Presentation and validation of the mandate of the Steering Committee

The draft terms of reference of the PSC was presented and very light changes were made in it. It was asked to replace on the first objective (Objective a)) the word “Validating” with “Adopting”, since the PSC is supposed to adopt the workplan and annual budget. It does not validate them. The objective c) “Carrying out other steering activities as required” has been moved as the last objective.

The SWAIMS TAT was removed from the composition of the PSC, since the project management unit is the secretariat of the meetings.

After the aforementioned observations, the TORs of the PSC were agreed on.

3. Presentation and validation of the outcomes of the inception phase

3.1 Presentation and validation of the consolidated progress report

The consolidated progress report was not part of the documents distributed to the participants. The team leader (TL) presented the missions the SWAIMS Technical assistance team (TAT) has carried out since the beginning of its work on 14 January 2019. The TL read fiches showcasing the achievements and challenges of the components of the project apart from the issues related to the rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs) and the facility supply presented later.

The meeting discussed and agreed on the following:

a) It was not easy to follow and see in the presentation the difference between the inception report and the progress report.

b) The report must be provided in hard copy.

c) The report must be result-based using standards.

d) The option to have a single consolidated report for the whole project makes it difficult to capture all the achievements of the other implementing actors of the project. The possibility should be given to each of them to present a report.

e) In the absence of KE2 in charge of the project coordination, TL should delegate activities to KE3 based in Abidjan.

f) The urgent need to proceed to the recruitment of the KE2 has been agreed on as a priority by all (Human Dynamics, ECOWAS and EUD). The letter related to the recruitment of the KE2 will be signed by ECOWAS relevant office within 24 hours.

g) the TAT must revise the six-monthly progress report before its adoption, 29th March is the deadline.

h) The TAT must prepare monthly reports.

The Chairman gave the opportunity to the program officer UNODC to do a presentation on the UNDOC achievements, of the UNODC SWAIMS program informed that his workplan is under revision due to COVID19.

Thus, the whole SWAIMS project must adjust its activities as long as the COVID19 issue remains unresolved.

3.2 Proposed workplan and budget

The TL presented SWAIMS TAT’s year II workplan activities and budget. Comments and discussions were made on the workplan layout and the absence of the activities performed by the other components of the project.

The following decisions were made:

a) The workplan (WP) must be aligned with the template proposed by EUD.

b) The WP must integrate all the activities to be carried out by all the components of the project.

c) Despite the COVID19 the procurements for the NKEs must be launched because this process can take long.

d) The deadline to have the WP revised, as recommended, is 29 March 2020.

4. Presentation and discussions on the project’s results: Supply facility and RHIBs

4.1 Supply facility

The challenges on the tender on the supply facility was discussed and the following was recommended, given that the deadline to lose the budget for this activity is September 2020:

a) ECOWAS (DPKRS) should provide the list of the equipment per center to EUD and ECOWAS Procurement within a week (19 March 2020).

b) SWAIMS Project management unit (PMU) should make this activity a priority to meet up with the deadline.

4.2 Rigid hull inflatable boats allocation

After discussion on this topic, it has been agreed on the following points:

a) The RHIBs are not designated to chase pirates but to help law enforcement agencies respond to maritime incidents, including environmental crimes and to facilitate prosecution of perpetrators through collection of on-site evidence.

b) CAMOES is ready to supply the RHIBs but is waiting from ECOWAS the plan of their allocation to the countries.

c) This allocation plan will be sent by ECOWAS to EUD by Thursday 19 March 2020.

5. Review and adoption of the conclusions of the meeting

The documents presented and discussed during the meeting will be adopted after being amended as recommended.

6. Closing Remarks

EUD Nigeria thanked ECOWAS for co-chairing the meeting and its flexibility during the debates. It extended its thanks to Human Dynamics and the other participants. According to the EUD, some progress has been made in the implementation of the project but there remains a lot to do. The project will be successful if everybody is involved in it.

Human Dynamics apologised for having joined the meeting late due to technical problems and thanked the ECOWAS and EUD and the other participants.

ECOWAS expressed its gratitude to the EUD, Human Dynamics and the project implementers with a special address to UNODC.

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