The ECOWAS council of ministers has adopted the West African Common Industrial Policy (WACIP), its action plan and supplementary acts and called on the Commission to take all necessary steps to ensure their speedy implementation.
WACIP, in particular, seeks to diversify and broaden the region’s industrial production base by progressively raising the local content of such products, increasing the manufacturing industry’s contribution to the regional gross domestic product (GDP), improving intra-community trade and increasing the volume of exports of manufactured goods from West Africa to the global market.
The council, on Wednesday 2nd June, also adopted the reports of the president of the community’s commission; the financial controller; the preceding meeting of the administration and finance committee and report of the meeting of the ministers in charge of defence and security, among others.
The 2010 interim report of the commission’s president gave an overview of recent economic developments in the world economy and their implications for Africa, particularly West Africa.
In his welcome address at the opening of the council meeting Monday, 31st May 2010, Nigeria’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Aliyu Idi Hong, stated that under the chairmanship of Nigeria, the region had recorded some measure of success in the areas of peace and stability as well as economic development in virtually all spheres within the region.
While stating that the West African region is facing serious crises, he said it was only through concerted action and collaboration that these problems could be solved by re-energizing the integration process in the region.
The council in their final day of deliberation also endorsed the report of the 11th ordinary assembly of health ministers of the commission, and the recommendation of the ministerial monitoring committee on the negotiation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) for the creation of a free trade area between West Africa and Europe.
The president of the commission, Nigerian James Victor Gbeho expressed optimism that members of the council would work together as a coherent team towards the achievement of the commission’s Strategic Vision 2020.