His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Vice President of Sierra Leone in his keynote address expressed his personal delight at witnessing the official launch of the Early Warning Center.
“I feel personally honoured to witness the official launch of this Center today as inde-ed we have come a long way with this venture which is no doubt a concrete fulfillment of our national and regional obligations,” he said.
The Vice President further elucidated on the framework which was adopted by ECOWAS member states. “Today Sierra Leone joins other member states such as Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Burkina Faso and others in establishing a functional National Early Warning Response Mechanism Center,” VP added.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E Jean-Claude kassi Brou congratulated H.E. Pre-sident Julius Maada Bio, Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, Dr. David Francis, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Dr. Francis Kai-Kai, Minister of Planning and Economic Development for working with the ECOWAS Commission tirelessly since April 2019, to facilitate all the steps and procedures necessary for the establishment of the Centre.
He also appreciated the financial support from the European Union and the Government of Germany. HE Jean – Claude Kassi Brou indicated that the Mechanism must, in the short term, cover the entire West African region and position itself as the instrument of Community soli-darity, essential for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in a view to enab-le our Region to successfully address cross-border security challenges it faces though, these are challenges that are inter-related and whose causes are multifaceted.
He added that the fight against these scourges requires not only a holistic approach but also multi-sectoral stra-tegies based on a preventive, repressive and protective approaches. He finally pleaded for greater solidarity and better coordination among ECOWAS Member States to cope with these challenges.
He congratulates the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone for appointing Madam Francess Nyuma, the first female Director of a national centre hoping that hat other Member States will follow this fine example of gender equality that has been set by Sierra Leone.
The Head of the European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, Ambassador Manuel Muller said that, “This opening of this Early Warning Response Center is demonstrative of the govern-ment’s commitment towards conflict prevention within the context of the ECOWAS Early War-ning and Response System.”
GIZ representative, the German Ambassador Horst Gruner commended government and the ECOWAS Commission for pursuing a means that brings peace in the region.
“This inauguration is a result of the effort that has been made by the government together with the ECOWAS Commission to contribute its share to strengthen the Africa peace and security architecture,” Ambassador Gruner said.
The Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kaikai was very appreciative of what the government and ECOWAS Commission have done to see the Center created and operationalized. He also praised President’s Brou vision for the implementation of two im-portant projects under his leadership namely, the ECOWAS Logistics depot in Lungi to support ECOWAS Peace Support Operations and, the West African power pool .
The ceremony was climaxed by the signing of a Memorandum Of Understanding between government of Sierra Leone and the ECOWAS Commission. The vote of thanks was given by the Director of Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Center Sierra Leone Mrs. Francess Nyuma.