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Ecowas Ministers set to validate strategy for common industrial policy

john mahama

Ministers in charge of Industry and Quality in West Africa will be meeting in  Accra, Ghana, to consider and validate several documents, including the strategy for implementation of the West Africa Common Industrial Policy (WACIP 2015-2020), designed to facilitate the industrialisation of the region.

The meeting, according to a statement made available by the commission, yesterday, in Abuja, will be holding between April 24 and 25, 2015.

Since the adoption of WACIP by ECOWAS leaders in July 2010, a lot of work has been done, mainly in the harmonisation of standards of products as part of the strategy for the implementation of the ECOWAS Quality Policy (ECOQUAL), but there is still the need to address a number of identified challenges.

“The ministerial session will be preceded by an expertise meeting between 20-23 April, 2015, also in the Ghanaian capital,” it said.

The main objective of the meetings, the statement said, is for the ministers, experts, the organised private sector and other key stakeholders to examine the revised strategy for the implementation of WACIP and the related programmes.

It said: “These include the ECOWAS Industry Strategy Review, ECOWAS Quality Infrastructure Programme, ECOWAS Regional Pharmaceutical Industry Plan (2014-2020); as well as the documents on the Facilitation of Industry Development through a value chain approach and competitiveness, the ECOWAS Industry Forum and the Agro-industry Cluster approach.

“The expected outcomes of the meetings include validation of the Revised Strategy for Industrial Development (2015-2020); an ECOWAS Industrial Database and Information System framework; Support for the implementation of the third-phase of the West Africa Quality Programme; Validation for adoption of the ECOWAS Harmonized Standards (ECOSTAN).

“The documents on the ECOWAS Industrial Forum/Exhibition and the Ministerial support to the Agro-value chains; support to Construction Industry value chains development initiatives; support to Industrial Cluster Development and Upgrading of Industries will also be validated.”

Participants at the meetings will include ministers in charge of Industry and Quality of ECOWAS Member States, national industry experts, ECOWAS Standard Harmonisation Technical Monitoring Committee Bureau, representatives of National Manufacturers Associations, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, technical and financial partners, including the World Bank, Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) among others.

Also expected are representatives of regional and continental organisations – UEMOA, African Union and the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and the West African Health Organisation – as well as regional business associations