Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ECOWAS Adopts New Strategy For Reducing Poverty

In order to move towards attaining the 7% growth rate in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the West African region, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) finally launched the Regional Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (RPRSP) to eliminate poverty. All the participants including officials of the African Development Bank (ADB), the Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA), and the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Amb. James Victor Gbeho emphasized the significance of the 7% growth rate in attaining MDGs by 2015. It can be noted that, the West African region is one of the poorest regions in the world where more 60% of its 230 million citizens live on less than $1 per day.

The strategy paper focuses on regional integration as a means of ensuring poverty eradication and the wellbeing, peace and human security of the entire population. The program will not only address the existing gap in the areas of education, health, access to drinking water and infrastructure, but also focus on various development initiatives across the region.

The cost of the programme under the RPRSP is estimated as $15 billon, with only about $3.7 billion so far secured. Closing the financial gap is therefore expected to be the chief objective of the resource mobilisation strategy.

Best of luck to ECOWAS!

-Nisha Noor