The ECOWAS Commission has announced that at the initiative of the ECOWAS Department of Trade, Customs and Free Movement and the ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA), a virtual meeting will be held on 17 February 2021 between the two institutions and the UEMOA Department of Regional Market and Cooperation.The Commission said in a statement on Tuesday that the virtual meeting had as its basis not only the cooperation and partnership agreement of 5 May 2004 and the Convergence Protocol of 8 September 2017 between ECOWAS and UEMOA, but also the texts establishing ERCA.
The Cooperation and Partnership Agreement calls on the two organisations to establish close cooperation and collaboration with a view to promoting the coordination and harmonisation of their respective development actions in order to accelerate convergence between ECOWAS and UEMOA, and strengthen regional integration in West Africa through the Joint Technical Secretariat. On the other hand, the Convergence Protocol sets out common mechanisms for the adoption of regional integration policies, programmes and regulations.
As well as reviewing the respective competition frameworks of ECOWAS and UEMOA, serving as a platform for discussion and exchange between ECOWAS and UEMOA on competition issues, and initiating the process of cooperation and collaboration between the two organisations in the area of competition, the virtual meeting will also explore possible areas of collaboration and prospects.
According to the statement, several participants are expected to attend this virtual meeting notably the ECOWAS Commissioner for Trade, Customs and Free Movement, the UEMOA Commissioner for Regional Market and Cooperation, the Ag. Executive Director of ERCA, and their respective experts.
It added that the conclusions and recommendations of the discussions will be submitted to the Presidents of the ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions for appropriate action.