The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on a wide range of development issues covering economy, ICT and health.
The signing took place in Khartoum, Sudan between representatives of both organisations.
Director General of BADEA, Dr Sidi Ould Tah, signed for the Arab bank, while Marcel A. de Souza, ECOWAS Commission President signed for the regional body.
Other officials of ECOWAS present include; Mr Bashir Ifo, President of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID), Mr Mamadou Traore, ECOWAS Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy, Mr MacDonald Saye Goanue, EBID Director for Research and Strategic Planning and Mr Franck W. Brathier, Executive Assistant to the ECOWAS Commission President.
The MoU will see the BADEA fund an ECOWAS Centre on Training and Capacity Building for Development in Lome, Togo as well as support the financial capacity of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID).
Other aspects of the MoU include development of rural electrification through solar energy in ECOWAS Member States; support for the implementation of the strategic guidelines of the ECOWAS Industrial Policy; Support for the construction of appropriate referral hospitals for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.
In order to strengthen the financial capacity of EBID, it was decided that BADEA will conduct an immediate assessment of two separate lines of credit for EBID as follows:
an initial credit line of USD 15 million to contribute to the funding of private sector projects, and a second credit line of USD 30 million to provide funding for ECOWAS Member States’ imports from Arab countries.
Similarly, pending the consideration of a credit line to be lodged at EBID for the microfinance sector to help the fight against poverty, Member States may directly send their requests to BADEA which supports initiatives in this field.
Development of rural electrification through solar energy in ECOWAS Member States
The ECOWAS Commission would like to make mini-solar plants available to rural populations in the Community to increase access to electricity alongside encouraging production, conservation and processing of local agricultural products.
The project is also expected to include a training component for the maintenance of these mini-plants.
In this respect, the ECOWAS Commission will soon submit to BADEA a request for a technical and economic feasibility study on rural electrification through solar energy in ECOWAS Member States.
Support for the implementation of the strategic guidelines of the ECOWAS Industrial Policy
Regarding this support, BADEA will examine the funding need expressed by the ECOWAS Commission for conducting a study on the implementation of the ECOWAS Industrial Policy’s strategic guidelines, including its impact on Member States, on the basis of their comparative advantages.
Support for the construction of appropriate referral health facilities for the treatment of cancer and other diseases
In view of the negative impacts of epidemics such as haemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Lassa, and others) on ECOWAS Member States’ populations as well as difficulties in treating cancer cases in the Community, BADEA is prepared to support ECOWAS Member States for the construction of appropriate referral health facilities.