UN Special Envoy Visits EBID
On August 19, 2020, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General, for West Africa and the Sahel who is also Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWAS), Dr. Ibn Chambas, was received by the President of EBID, Dr. George Agyekum Donkor, and key Management personel at the headquarters of the Bank in Lomé.
Dr. Chambas applauded the wide range of ECOWAS achievements including peace and security which he described as vital even though they were actually incidental to the heart and core of why the Community was created namely, to foster economic integration in West Africa, and also foster the development of the private sector in West Africa to boost economic development in the region.
Free Movement and Good Road Infrastructure Create Wealth
Dr, Chambas reminded the gathering that the purpose of the free movement stipulated in ECOWAS texts was to drive wealth creation over which the financial arm of the Community, EBID, had a major role to play. Citing the example of infrastructure development which is a key area of the Bank’s activities in all Member States, Dr. Chambas pointed out that without road infrastructure the free movement advantage would be greatly diminished. He also mentioned agriculture which he described as an important area of our sub region, pointing out that the sector has to be developed to include the value chain of food processing to create jobs and ensure food security for our people adding that EBID should continue with its contribution towards growing vital sectors of our economy.
Neglect Breeds Terrorism
Urging support to EBID’s resource mobilization initiatives to raise more funds, Dr. Chambas reiterated that the Bank deserved the assistance to support economic development in view of its impact on the region’s peace and stability co-efficient. Giving the example of Mali and other areas affected by terrorist threats, the Head of UNOWAS explained that one of the catalysts for such threats was neglect pointing out that the breeding grounds for terrorism in the region were vast and poor areas in the sub region where thanks to social media and other modern means of communication, are connecting young people in poor isolated areas, to developments in sports and other domains across the world. As a result Dr. Chambas encouraged EBID in its efforts to scale up infrastructure development in view of its multiplier effects on sustainable development in the region in order to boost industry and overall development in the region.
The President of EBID, on behalf of the Bank, expressed appreciation to Dr. Chambas for finding time to visit and share very constructive ideas with the Bank.