Friday, October 28, 2011

Sensitation on ECOWAS NCC, Secretarait

Representatives from the various Ministries, the public and private sectors,Non-Governmental Organizations, among others, on  October 5th, converged at the Paradise Suites Hotel for a one-day sensitization workshop on the ECOWAS National Coordinating Committee and Secretariat. 
The main objective of the ECOWAS NCC and Secretariat is to improve the economic supervision of the ECOWAS Member States by re-inforcing good public finance management and ensuring the creation of the ECOWAS Single Currency, says Madam Isatou Faal, Deputy Permanent Secretary(DPS) at the Ministry of  Finance and  Economic Affairs (MoFEA).
According to DPS Faal, who stood in for the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Mod Secka, at the opening, the National Sensitisation Workshop marked the end of a series of Sensitisation activities, which kicked off on the 29th September, 2011, to disseminate far and wide information about the existence, mandates and functions of the ECOWAS NCC and Secretariat.
She told her audience that the ECOWAS NCC National Sensitisation Program truly reflects the strong and continued commitment of the government of the day to the goals and objectives of the ECOWAS regional integration process, especially in the concretization of efforts to harmonize economic policies within the frameworks to accelerate the creation of an ECOWAS monetary zone.
She recalled that the decision  (resolution A/DEC.17/12/01) to create the mechanism for multilateral surveillance of the economic and financial policies of all ECOWAS Member States came during the Annual Convention of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Dakar, Senegal on the 21st of  December, 2001.
The DPS stated that within the framework of the 9th European Development Fud (EDF) to enhance the capacities of ECOWAS Commission and improve upon the macroeconomic policy supervision of ECOWAS Member States, the 9th EDF embarked upon the recruitment of two macroeconomic Consultants to support the implementation of the programme on multilateral surveillance.
She further noted that the implementation of multilateral surveillance is essential to evaluate economic performance of ECOWAS Member States towards the implementation of the roadmap for the creation of the ECOWAS Convergence Council in May 2009. 
Towards the achievement of the above mentioned goals,the Gambia’s ECOWAS NCC and Secretariat were established, and are manned by a macroeconomist and a Bilingual Secretary, the Participants were apprised by DPS Faal. 
They were further informed that the NCC constitutes the technical working group which validates all reports produced by the NCC Secretariat’s macroeconomist before they are sent to the ECOWAS Commission.
The NCC, Faal went further, supervises the activities of the Secretariat, and is headed by a Chairman who is the Permanent Secretary of Finance and Economic Affairs. The NCC secretariat is housed at the Ministry MoFEA, she added.
Mr. Yahya Samateh of the ECOWAS National Unit, in his remarks, said the goals and objectives of the ECOWAS Regional Integration Process is to promote economic integration through regional programmes that enhance the harmonization of economic policies aim at creating a common market and an ECOWAS of people.
The workshop, he told the gathering, is part of a series of activities that The Gambia  ECOWAS NCC and Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment  are commitment to uindertake so as to raise the levels of awareness of the citizenery on the roles and functions of NCC in promoting the  ECOWAS  Regional Integration Programmes, particularly economic  supervision for good public finance management. 
He said one of the core mandates  of the ECOWAS  National Unit is is to facilitate, coordinate and monitor the implementation of ECOWAS programmes in Member States.
In ensuring that the regional policies are integrated into all aspects of national policy, Samateh charged, “it needs the participation of all stakeholders in order for the country to derive optional benefit from its ECOWAS membership”.
He said the ministry continues to provide the much needed coordination in the governmental machinery with respect to regional integration and the creation of NCC by ECOWAS Commission in member states complements this coordination mandate, particularly as it relates to economic supervision on Monetary and Public Finance Management.

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