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The ECOWAS Commission organized a two-day workshop to review the status of gap filling actions related to the “EU Pillar Assessment” on 13 & 14 March 2023 in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Pillar Assessment is part of a wider Institutional Reform Process within ECOWAS Commission. A Pillar compliant entity is allowed to use its internal procedures to manage EU and other Donor funds directly. During a mock assessment conducted in 2021, ECOWAS was assessed on eight (8) out of the nine (9) EU Pillars, passing four (4) and requiring improvement on four (4). The 4 Pillars which required improvement on by ECOWAS Commission were : a) internal control; b) exclusion from access to funding; c) publication of information on recipients; and d) protection personal data. The action plan also included gaps identified in pillars which ECOWAS passed under Accounting, External Audit, Grants and Procurement.

A Pillar Champions' meeting was held in December of 2022, to map out and assign tasks for gap filling actions along the 4 Pillars which required improvement. This workshop was thus organised to take stock of the implementation of the action plan resulting from the last workshop of December 2022; and to update the December action plan with new timelines. It brought together Pillar Champions representing the different Departments and Directorates of ECOWAS involved in this assessment.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Chukwuka NWACHELI, Ag Head of Division Grants, on behalf of the Director, Financial Reporting & Grants Mr. Ahmadou Oury BALDE, thanked the participants for their availability and insisted on the importance of the role of each participant for the achievement of the expected results of the workshop. Speaking on behalf of GIZ, Mr. Franck-Emery Mongbe, thanked ECOWAS for the invitation, and presented the draft report submitted by the GIZ consultant on pillar № 9 relating to data protection.

“EU Pillar Assessment” is an essential step in modernising operations at ECOWAS and in promoting ownership of development aid.

The workshop ended with the adoption of a report including the next actions.


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