Africa: ECOWAS harmonizing Agenda 2063 with AU team
In deference to the importance of Agenda 2063 to the overall development of the entire continent, the African Union Commission (AUC) is seeking to further collaborate with the ECOWAS Commission in order to create meaningful synergies around the agenda.
The collaboration is also part of the measures to ensure that implementation of the 2063 agenda at the level of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) is seamless.
Interfacing with the visiting officials of the AUC on the 31st of October 2016 at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, the ECOWAS Director, Strategic Planning Essien Abel Essien stressed the need for the streamlining of all programmes that resonates with the agenda in such a way as to ensure that efforts are not duplicated and implementation is done with a high degree of ownership of the programmes by ECOWAS and its Member States.
He noted that the Strategic Planning is the Directorate responsible for “drilling down” the decisions on the matter at the level of the regional economic Communities.
He therefore recommended the setting up of a REC Working Group to make room for meaningful partnership and prevent a situation whereby the continental body embarks on a programme and pushes it down the level of the REC for implementation without concurrence and ownership.
Being a plan for Africa’s structural transformation, Agenda 2063 was agreed upon by the African Union (AU) at its Golden Jubilee in May 2013, fifty years after the first thirty-three (33) independent African states gathered in Addis Ababa to form the Organization of African Union.
It seeks among others to: *Galvanize and unite in action all Africans and the Diaspora around the common vision of a peaceful, integrated and prosperous Africa.
*Harness the continental endowments embodied in its people, history, cultures and natural resources, geo-political position to effect equitable and people-centered growth and development.
*Build on and accelerate implementation of continental frameworks, and other similar initiatives.
*Provide internal coherence and coordination to continental, regional and national frameworks and plans adopted by the AU, RECs and Members states plans and strategies; and
*Offer policy space for individual, sectoral and collective actions to realize the continental vision.
Today, the AU and the continent is looking ahead towards the next fifty years. Africa’s political leadership acknowledges past achievements and challenges and is rededicating itself to the Pan African vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.”
In coming up with the Agenda, there were stakeholder consultations, member states inputs, while a list of inspirations were rightly identified.
The list of flagship programmes of the Agenda 2063 include: an Integrated High Speed Train Network, Great Inga Dam, Single African Aviation Market, Outer Space, The Pan African E-Network, Creation of an Annual African Consultative Platform, Establishment of the Virtual University, Free Movement of Persons and the African Passport, The Continental Free Trade Area, Silencing the Guns by 2020; and Development of a Commodity Strategy.
Agenda 2063 takes into cognizance the fact that most African economies now have in place sound macro-economic and market-oriented economies which have spurred growth, trade and investment expansion.
Going forward, the Agenda seeks to build on this through its implementation plan and domestication with the underlying principles derived from consultations, review of national/regional plans and continental frameworks for the implementation, subsidiarity; accountability and transparency; participation/inclusion; integration; diversity; leveraging existing institutions and systems; as well as harmonisation of policies and systems.
Hand in hand with the other plans, is a veritable communication strategy to generate sustained public awareness as well as the involvement, support and ownership by the African population, of the Agenda and its execution.