WACOMP holds its 8th Technical Steering Committee meeting to support initiatives aimed at improving competitiveness in West Africa
The Eight (8th) meeting of the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) of the West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP) was held virtually on 7 April 2022. Organised by the ECOWAS Commission, the meeting was attended by representatives of UEMOA Commission, European Union, International Trade Centre (ITC) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
The WACOMP, which is financed by the European Union, aims to support several selected value chains at national and regional levels in order to promote structural transformation and better access to regional and international markets. The Programme, which is led by the ECOWAS Commission, with the support of the UEMOA Commission, has one (1) regional component and sixteen (16) national components being implemented in ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania.
On behalf of Mr. Mamadou TRAORE, Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector, and Mr. Tei KONZI, Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement, Mr. Kolawole SOFOLA, Acting Director for Trade welcomed participants to the meeting and recalled the role of the TSC in monitoring and guiding the actions of the Programme. He stressed the importance of fostering greater synergy between the regional and national components, which together would enable the region to take advantage of market opportunities at regional, continental, and international levels. He concluded his remarks by expressing his appreciation to the UEMOA Commission for their collaboration, the EU for its financial support, and the implementing partners ITC and UNIDO for their technical support, before declaring the meeting open.
On behalf of the European Union, Mr. Frank OKAFOR expressed his expectations in terms of results-oriented support to key regional value chains, regional quality infrastructure, implementation of regional policies and the operationalisation of the regional competitiveness observatory. He also highlighted the need to ensure sustainability of the outcomes of the Programme.
On behalf the UEMOA Commission, Mr. Joel YAMEOGO expressed his appreciation to the ECOWAS Commission for organizing the technical steering committee and reiterated their
readiness to continue to support the implementation of the planned activities with a view to strengthening the competitiveness in the selected value chains.
The meeting considered the implementation status of the regional component by considering activities related to coordination and monitoring of the Programme, Regional Quality Infrastructure System & Business Environment, Business and Export Promotion, and the West Africa Competitiveness Observatory.
More specifically, the discussions focused on the development of ECOWAS draft standards, the support to conformity assessment bodies toward accreditation, the development of trade related tools such as the ECOWAS Market Information Monitoring System (MIMS), the ECOWAS Market Price Information (MPI) portal and the ECOWAS Trade Obstacle Alert Mechanism platform (https://www.tradeobstacles.org/ecowas). The support to the operationalisation of the ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisation (TPO) Network, the ECOWAS Business Council and preparation towards the upcoming West Africa Connect Event 2022 (https://westafricaconnect.com/) were also discussed.
SOURCE : https://ecowas.int/?p=54857