ECOWAS to introduce regional research policy

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has organised a two-day validation workshop to adopt a way forward on the formulation process of ECOWAS Regional Research Policy.

The workshop which opened in Accra on Monday is aimed at informing Member States on the ECOWAS community development programme and other interventions in the research sector.

It will also share and validate the summary report of national studies on the situation analysis of the research sector in ECOWAS region.

The policy when adopted would identify the organisational framework, institutional support and level of responsibilities in research activities.

In addition, it would spell out the conceptual framework of the research sector as a major instrument of national and regional development.

Professor Lambert Bamba, Commissioner in-charge of Macro-economic Policy, ECOWAS Commission, said research played an important role in promoting regional integration and community development.

“Indeed, your proximity with the people and your daily commitment to raise their knowledge and build their capacity make you one of the major players in any process of formulation and implementation of regional policies,” he said.

Prof Bamba said the workshop was a follow up to two previous ones held in Dakar and Bamako in 2010.

He said the policy would create a conductive environment for the achievement of research projects and continuous capacity building in the field of activity.

Prof Bamba pointed out that the policy would help in “Developing solidarity in the scientific community and strengthening of scientific cohesion and ensuring that the main national and regional legal provision, which promote research are instituted and respected.”

He noted that ECOWAS was planning to use the research as a development tool which would help ensure high quality standards in studies on socio-economic development in Member States.

Prof Bamba said formulation of the regional research policy was structured around three main phases, which comprise sensitisation, capacity building and diagnosis, establishment of regional dialogue to identify priority areas of the policy and strategic plan and development of innovation financing mechanism and roundtable of donors.

He said ECOWAS aimed at sharing and adopting the draft document on the diagnosis of the research sector and discuss the component of regional policy document for the Region, which would be submitted to the high authority of ECOWAS.

Mr Emmanuel Kofi Nti, Co-ordinator, Tax Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, noted that the initiative was laudable, saying regional perspective was always useful and necessary for important and cross-cutting issues such as research.

He said government would continue to support ECOWAS in the formulation of important policies, in addition to its commitment towards strengthening of regional integration.

Source: GNA

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