ECOWAS Ministers Validate Human Capital Development (HCD) and Gender Equality Report and Transformative Action Plan

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With the aim of improving the human capital indices of the West Africa region by 2030, ECOWAS organized a ministerial validation meeting of the Human Capital Development (HCD) Report 2022 via zoom , June 14, 2022. The meeting also featured a discussion and presentation. of the Gender and Transformative Action for Human Capital Development in West Africa Report. The ECOWAS Commission had previously developed the Integrated Human Capital Development (HCD) Strategy which provides a framework for accelerating human capital growth in the region through the formulation of national human capital development strategies in member states.

The opening session was marked by a welcoming address by HE Finda EM Koroma, Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission. In her address, she welcomed all Ministers of States to the validation meeting on behalf of HE Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, and all the Management and staff of ECOWAS. She expressed the Commission’s gratitude to the Republic of Ghana for chairing the meeting, and also thanked the Honorable Ministers of Member States for making themselves available for the validation meeting. The Vice-President indicated that the ECOWAS Commission has set itself the ambitious goal of becoming the best performing Regional Economic Community (REC) in Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of DCH by 2030. It is for this reason that the Draft Report – Ministerial Validation Meeting of the Commission has developed the Integrated Human Capital Development Strategy (HCD) report, aimed at improving the human capital indices of the West African region by 2030.

She pointed out that the ECOWAS Commission has identified six (6) areas of intervention to assist Member States to progress on each of the four (4) priority levels of the ECOWAS Strategy for 2030, namely (a) the advocacy, policy and communication, (b) Monitoring and evaluation, (c) Capacity building and knowledge sharing, and (d) Resource mobilization. The six (6) areas relate to the update of (i) the HCD index, (ii) the HCD gender index, (iii) the monitoring and evaluation dashboard of the implementation of the HCD, (iv) the 2022 ECOWAS HCD report, (v) the organization of capacity building sessions and exchange forums between the HCD national focal points and the ECOWAS HCD squad, and finally, (vi ) conducting a study on gender transformation action for the HCD.

Honorable Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Chair of the Meeting and Mini Sanitation and Water Resources, for the Republic of Ghana. In her opening remarks, she highlighted the importance of human capital development for ECOWAS Member States and commended the ECOWAS Commission and its partners for championing the development of the Integrated Capital Development Strategy. and its implementation documents for the region. She further underscored the importance of human capital development in the governance of nations today and stressed how particularly important it is to stimulate creativity and innovation among the population to stimulate sustainable development. She called for greater involvement of women and girls in education, as well as the integration of women from informal economic sectors into formal and sustainable wealth-producing activities.

The meeting then moved into plenary sessions where the documents were discussed and reviewed. Some of the important recommendations include creating synergy on gender initiatives among Member States, increasing the visibility of gender transformative actions, using harmonized data and surveys for reporting, and l improving the results of the HCD indicators for a better comparison between Member States.

The closing remark was made by HE Finda Koroma who thanked all for their contributions, comments and promised to ensure that all recommendations are taken into account in the final version of the reports.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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