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The EPSAO project holds its fourth strategic steering committee

The ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations Project holds its fourth Strategic Steering Committee Meeting

In a bid to review and re-strategize peace and security operations in the West AFRICA Region, the fourth strategic Steering Committee Meeting of the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture and Operations (EPSAO) Project held on the 20th of October 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The meeting examined the achievements made in the implementation in 2022 and reviewed the plans for the remainder of the year. An important highlight has been the validation of the draft of the 2022-2026 Early Warning and Early Response Strategic and Action Plans, which effectively serve as a blueprint for the realization of a fully integrated, decentralized, and effective warning and responsesystem. Other highlights included the deployment of a core team of experts to support and strengthen the ECOWAS electoral observation mission in The Gambia and Senegal, and the implementation of the first training programsat the ‘’Ecole de Servicede Santé des Armées de Lomé’’ (ESSAL)for members of the ECOWAS Standby Force.

In his opening remarks, the Director Peacekeeping Regional Security, Dr. Cyriaque Agnekethon, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Dr. Abdel-Fatau Musah,announced that the ECOWAS Commission was now under new management. He highlighted that |some of the challenges that come with the ever-evolving security landscape in the ECOWAS region cannot alwaysbe addressed with the existinginstruments.” Against this backdrop, he stressed the continued relevanceof the EPSAO Project and ECOWAS’s ongoingcommitment to this partnership.

Representing the EU Delegation (EUD) in Nigeria and ECOWAS, the Head of the Democracy, Governance, and Migration Section, Mr. Ruben Alba Aguilera, expressed his appreciation for the longstanding cooperation between ECOWAS and the European Union and lauded it as one of the most significant partnerships in terms of the operationalization of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). He praised the EPSAO project for its contribution to enhancing the ECOWAS Standby Force and the Training Centres of Excellence, for expanding the network of National Centers for Coordination Response Mechanism (NCCRM) and for supporting the Core Teams deployed to ECOWAS Election Observation Missions (EOM).

Speaking on behalf of the German Government, Ms. Susanne Schröder, the Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Nigeria, acknowledged the important strides that the ECOWAS Commission has made with regards to strengthening its early warning and early response capacities; to promoting the Woman Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda.“This aligns well with Germany’s feminist foreign policy approach; to accompanying member state electionprocesses and to engaging with member stateson Security SectorReform and Governance (SSRG).” She stated. Ms. Schröder reiterated Germany’s continued commitment to supporting ECOWAS as it continues its efforts to promote and ensure human security for its citizensand to the continued implementation of the EPSAO Project.

The EPSAO project is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.


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