ECOWAS forges partnerships in Washington for early warning solutions

In a proactive move towards bolstering early warning capabilities across West Africa, the ECOWAS Commission led by Vice President H.E. Damtien L. Tchintchibidja embarked on a mission to Washington, D.C., USA, from April 2nd to 6th, 2024, aimed at cultivating partnerships to enhance early warning and response mechanisms within the region.

The primary objective of the visit was to engage with key stakeholders and institutions to strengthen collaboration on capacity-building initiatives related to early warning and response, ultimately aiming to fortify human security in the ECOWAS region.

A pivotal outcome of this mission was the initiation of discussions with the prestigious Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace, and Security (GIWPS) to establish a collaborative framework leveraging their expertise in delivering tailored training programs. This partnership seeks to impart critical knowledge and skills through a “Train the Trainer” approach to benefit national centers and other stakeholders in the early warning and response ecosystem.

As part of their engagement efforts, the ECOWAS delegation co-hosted a high-level roundtable discussion titled “Building Peace and Resilience in West Africa,” which convened students, professors, and influential figures from various sectors within the U.S. government. Notable attendees included representatives from diplomatic circles, academia, NGOs, think tanks, research institutions, and U.S. Government agencies, notably the Africa Centre for Strategic Studies.

Moreover, the ECOWAS delegation conducted bilateral meetings with key counterparts in Washington, D.C. During these sessions, Vice President Tchintchibidja met with Mr. Michael Heath, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for West Africa at the U.S. Department of State, to provide updates on the progress achieved through the National Early Warning and Response Mechanisms established in ECOWAS member states. This initiative was initially funded under the EWARP project by the Department of State.

Additionally, Vice President Tchintchibidja engaged with Dr. Monde Muyangwa, the Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Africa at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to explore potential collaboration areas building upon the successful history of cooperation between the ECOWAS Commission and USAID.

The visit to Washington signifies a proactive step by ECOWAS to strengthen partnerships with international stakeholders, leveraging expertise and resources to advance early warning systems and bolster resilience across West Africa. This strategic collaboration underscores the commitment of ECOWAS to proactively address emerging challenges and promote regional stability and security.

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