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ECOWAS stresses regional integration for sustainable development

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The Special Representative of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission in Liberia, Mr. Nathaniel B. Walker says the regional body has been promoting economic cooperation and regional integration as a tool in accelerating the development of the West African economy.

” For us at Ecowas, regional integration remains the most viable and appropriate tool for achieving and accelerating sustainable development of the West African countries”, he said.

Mr. Walker was speaking at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town outside Monrovia over the weekend during the official launch of the Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa or (HISWA) Liberia project.

Making remarks on behalf of the President of ECOWAS Dr. Mohammed Ibas Chambers, he said ECOWAS authorities and Heads of States and governments reaffirmed commitment to improving the West African integration process while enhancing the effectiveness of the institution in its totality, by creating an understanding of the situation through the support of improved data.

He thanked the director-general of Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) Prof. Francis Wreh and chairman of the board Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweh for their support towards the smooth organization of statistical harmonization in the region.

Mr. Walker continued that the initiative, when implemented successfully, will help support the country’s macroeconomic policy planning which is aligned with the government’s national development roadmap, “Pro-Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity or (PAPD).”

He said the project is relevant as it supports the National Statistical System (NSS)as well as the Ecowas Regional Statistical System (RSS), saying “At this time when we are in the process of producing up-to-date, reliable and harmonized statistics covering many of the social and economic data and indicators.”

The objective of the initiative according to Mr. Walker is to strengthen the statistical systems of participating countries and regional bodies to harmonize, produce, disseminate and enhance the use of core economic and social statistics, adding that the project remains well aligned with the World Bank Group, Regional Integration, and Cooperation Assistance Strategy for Sub Saharan Africa and will help strengthen the connection between regional policy commitments and national planning.

The launch of the harmonization and improve statistics in West Africa Liberia project was held under the theme: “Support Statistics for Development Planning”, and it brought together youths and student groupings, including officials of government, partners, and members of the Diplomatic Corps.

By Lewis S. Teh–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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