The President’s appeal

The debate on economic development has made significant progress in several areas which, no doubt, are related to one another: growth, reduction of inequalities against poverty, significance of innovation, role of institutions and governance, protection of the environment and natural resources, the geographic dimension and need for economic integration of the countries…

West Africa made deep macroeconomic reforms and at the same time suffered external and internal choc. It achieved mixed results despite the space dynamics and experienced profound changes. It has adaptation capacities and made significant strides that can be considered as advantages to be developed.

Time has come to take stock of the blocking economic, space, social and political factors which are major challenges to the ongoing globalisation process. To that effect, I am confident that the community of research workers will undertake reflection and propose new and credible alternatives in order to bring West Africa out of its current and future challenges. This reflection is particularly important because the global financial and economic crisis did not spare the sub-region and it should not wait for solutions imposed from abroad.

Therefore, considering the TOR proposed by the Scientific Committee, I appeal for the effective participation of all intellectuals of the West Africa region, who are conscious of the ECOWAS regional integration objectives, in order to put in place a consensual plan on the development approach. The outcome of the symposium will be used to ensure greater efficiency of the ECOWAS vision: that of moving from an ECOWAS of States to an ECOWAS of the peoples of the sub-region. I hope that this scientific initiative will be perpetuated.

The symposium is organised in response to this requirement and is scheduled to take place in this regard in March 2010 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Therefore, I also invite all political decision makers, civil society actors and development partners to mobilise themselves in order to make the symposium a resounding success.