ECOWAS - Harmonisation of Sectoral Policies

ECOWAS member States are reaffirming their commitment to ensure the harmonisation and coordination of national policies and the promotion of integration programmes, projects and activities of ECOWAS as indicated by Article (3) of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS. Particularly in the areas of: food, agriculture and natural resources, industry, transport and communications, energy, trade, money and finance, taxation, economic reform policies, human resources, education, information, culture, science, technology, services, health, tourism as well as in legal matters. Moreover, inter-State cooperation, harmonisation of policies and integration of programmes, are one of the fundamental principles as outlined by Article (4) in the Treaty.

In this context, ECOWAS has gone considerably far in the area of health, infrastructure, energy, aviation as well as food and agriculture. In regards to infrastructure, ECOWAS has established National Road Transport and Transit Facilitation Committees with membership from important public and private sector actors in trade and transport facilitation of all member states to ensure the free flow of trade and transport along their respective corridors. The ECOWAS and African Development Bank are coordinating a Multinational Highway and Transport Facilitation Programme, where the Bamenda-Enugu Corridor was recently completed. The Abidjan-Lagos Trade and Transport Facilitation programme is likewise in the process of completion. Concerning aviation, ECOWAS is focusing on fostering the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision on air transport liberalization through the adoption of the Community Acts. Moreover, the achievements of Air Transport Project during 2013 are aligned with the ECOWAS Air Transport Action Plan for 2009-2015. In this regard, ECOWAS Commission has been assisting member States to provide safe reliable and coordinated air transport system that can provide regular air links among the member States as well as exploring means of ensuring equitable access of eligible airlines to the West African air transport market.

Telecommunications in member States have been widely improved following development of a reliable and modern regional Telecoms broadband infrastructure including the INTELCOM II programme, alternative broadband infrastructures and sub marine cables as well as the establishment of single liberalized telecommunication market. Moreover, energy has likewise been widely improved with the establishment various initiatives including: West African Power Pool, ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority.

Concerning food and agriculture, ECOWAS has accelerate the implementation of the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy by the Council of Ministers adopting a number of key strategic regulations aligned with the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme. In addition, the ECOWAS strategic plan for the processing and development of the livestock sector has also been adopted and is being implemented in member States.