“ECOWAS Launches Inaugural Annual Regional Steering Group Meeting to Advance Women’s Leadership in Peace and Security in West Africa”

By Milcah Tanimu

The ECOWAS Commission has officially inaugurated the First Annual Meeting of the ECOWAS Women Peace and Security Regional Steering Group for 2024. Held in Abuja from April 22nd to 24th, the event is centered around the theme “Sustaining the Momentum Towards Monitoring and Reporting on the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda in West Africa Using the Continental Results Framework (CRF).”

Nigeria’s commitment to promoting women’s leadership in peace and security was prominently showcased with the presence of H.E. Mrs. Barr. Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, at the opening ceremony. The Minister underscored Nigeria’s proactive stance, stating, “With robust national action plans and localized security resolutions, Nigeria is spearheading efforts to ensure that women are not only participants but leaders in our peace and security framework.”

In her address, H.E. Professor Fatou Sow Sarr, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, stressed the importance of consistent action and advocacy to enhance women’s inclusivity in peace processes across Africa. She affirmed the meeting’s objective of fortifying monitoring and reporting mechanisms to uphold peace and security as unwavering pillars in the region.

Representatives from the German Embassy and the European Union Delegation reiterated their steadfast support for ECOWAS initiatives aimed at promoting women’s involvement in peace and security. They emphasized the EU’s commitment to strengthening partnerships and creating an enabling environment where women’s invaluable contributions to peacebuilding are recognized and indispensable.

The meeting’s agenda includes substantive discussions on the achievements and challenges in implementing the Women, Peace, and Security agenda, with a focus on leveraging the Continental Results Framework for comprehensive monitoring and reporting. The aim is to enhance regional cooperation, share best practices, and enhance strategies to empower women in peace and security efforts throughout West Africa.

This inaugural meeting marks a significant milestone in ECOWAS’ ongoing commitment to advancing the Women, Peace, and Security agenda. It serves as a dynamic platform for reinvigorating regional and global efforts to foster a peaceful and inclusive West African region.


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