The Office of the Secretary General, in collaboration with the Department of General Administration and Conference, held a three-day retreat on ECOWAS Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for staff of ECOWAS Institutions and Agencies from 19 – 21 November, 2020 in Lagos, Nigria.
The retreat was an initial stage in the process of institutionalization of ethics among ECOWAS Institutions and Agencies and was chaired by the Secretary General of the Commission – Dr. Nelson Magbagbeola. He welcomed participants on behalf of the President of the Commission, His Excellency Jean-Claude Kassi BROU, and stated that the overall objective of the retreat was to sensitize staff members of the ECOWAS Institutions and Agencies on the importance and elements of code of ethics and professional conduct in ECOWAS with a view to developing a strategy and action plan of promoting ethics in ECOWAS.
He highlighted that ECOWAS has built credibility, reputation and positive image within the Community and among the development partners as one of the leading regional economic communities (RECs) on the African continent and that ECOWAS has achieved a lot in its work programme especially in the areas of regional economic integration, political stability, peace and security. However, he noted that ECOWAS Institutions and Agencies have suffered reputational damage because of unethical behaviour of a few staff members.
Participants examined the current ECOWAS Code of Ethics, identified areas of improvement and discussed the ECOWAS core values of integrity, honesty, transparency, loyalty, accountability and professionalism.
Presentations on Ethical issues in ECOWAS Financial Management, Status of Implementation of Risk Management, Staff Regulations, ECOWAS Procurement Code and ECOWAS Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct were discussed.
The Retreat also featured presentations on Tools and Strategies for Promoting Ethics in a Corporate Organizations and the experiences of the African Union Commission in Ethics Promotion and the highlights from the GIZ/European Union on areas of support to ECOWAS.