Abuja, March 4, 2021 – The ECOWAS Commission has received materials and equipments donated by GIZ for use of ECOWAS Training Centre. The donation was part of EU Institutional Support programme to ECOWAS which is being implemented by GIZ. The event which took place at the ECOWAS Training Centre in Asokoro Abuja also concided with the graduation of the first set of internal ECOWAS Trainers.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Human Resources, ECOWAS Commission, Prof. Jeremias Dias Furtado, appreciated all for finding time to attend the Institutional Support to ECOWAS (ISE) Launch/Official Handover ceremony of IT equipment and graduation ceremony of the ECOWAS Internal Trainers Class of 2021 organized in collaboration with GIZ. He recalled that ISE was set up to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and impact of the EU aid in West Africa. He stated further the programme which is jointly funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has been committed to preparing both ECOWAS Commission and ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) for the EU pillar certification towards making them directly manage funds provided by the European Union. He added that the identification and training of in-house trainers, some of whom graduated today, was necessary not only to reduce the cost of external trainers but also to build a local pool of subject matter experts. “This community of internal trainers will be involved in the training, coaching, and mentoring of existing staff members and eventually newcomers within the ECOWAS Institutions and Agencies” he said.
The Head of Cooperation, Delegation of the EU to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mrs. Cécile Tassin-Pelzer informed all that this event represented the formal launch of the EU-funded 4.85 million euros Institutional Support to ECOWAS (ISE) programme. She added that the equipment being handed over to the training centre form a component of the programme which was a follow-up programme to previous interventions to strengthen the Public Finance Management and institutional reforms initiated by ECOWAS. She stated that the programme which began in December 2020 will assist ECOWAS and EBID to attain international standards in finance, audit, accounting and human resources, support validation process for ECOWAS Staff Regulations and Harmonized Human Resources Policies and Procedures as well as drafting and validating a new ECOWAS Code of Ethics. She concluded by saying “we will achieve the main objective of the programme which is to contribute to the transparent and accountable management of both donor and ECOWAS own funds, through compliance with international standards”.
In her remarks, the Head of Cooperation of the German Embassy in Nigeria, Mrs Susanne Schröder stated that Germany has been supporting ECOWAS in strengthening management competencies and preparations for EU pillar assessment. She reiterated that the pillar assessment is a very deep and thorough evaluation of the internal processes of an organization towards making them efficient. She added that a pillar-assessed ECOWAS Commission would achieve two major objectives namely to allow the commission to independently implement funds from the European Union and to prove that the internal processes of the Commission are compliant with international standards of internal control, accounting and auditing processes as well as data protection. He further said that the ECOWAS Training Centre will be a centerpiece for strengthening management competencies which will form the building block for the future of ECOWAS’ unified and inter-institutional training concept.
The GIZ/ECOWAS Cluster Coordinator, Mr Ludwig Kirchner, in his brief remark thanked ECOWAS Commission for their cooperation over the years and assures them that the ISE programme will lead to improved staff productivity and increased work efficiency. The event ended with a graduation ceremony of ECOWAS internal trainers class of 2021.