Message from the Vice-President

Since its inception, ECOWAS has been pursuing its objective of promoting cooperation and integration with a view to achieving economic and monetary union among the West African Member States.

Significant progress has been made in several sectors: economic, political, social and cultural. Currently, most of the African countries have achieved 50 years of political independence and economic and social assessment should be undertaken without any complacency. Moreover, considering that the global financial and economic crisis has not spared any country, ECOWAS proposed to organise a symposium, in scientific partnership with university academics and research workers, in order to coordinate reflection and research undertaken by the public and private actors on the theme: new prospects for ending under-development in West Africa?”

 This event is a discussion forum and is aimed at sensitising and mobilising all public and private actors, as well as those in the civil society and the Diaspora, in order to undertake deep reflection on crucial issues of great concern to all our populations: what are the development challenges and how to tackle them? What are the development models, their impact and weaknesses? What is the poverty level and profile? Which type of growth? What institutional framework should direct development? How to accelerate integration as the engine of our development? So any important questions that gnaw at the minds of the citizens and to which it is important to provide innovative and relevant answers. This important meeting should be of concern to all development actors and research workers who are anxious to rethink development and integration in the West Africa region in order to put a stop to these lost decades for development.

Like the President of the Commission and the Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policies, I appeal to all social sections of our Member States, all vital forces enamoured with progress and peace and all technical and scientific competencies to contribute their part in order to make this event a resounding success. I have no doubt that the outcomes of this Symposium will generate new alternatives for the future economic development and well-being of our societies.