The German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said on Sunday that Germany’s partnership with ECOWAS was aimed at improving the region in various sectors of the economy.
Scholz made this known at a press briefing held at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja on the sidelines of his visit to Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that at the end of September, Germany’s Federal Development Ministry (BMZ) announced plans to ramp up the country’s financial support of the ECOWAS.
Following a meeting between German development Minister, Svenja Schulze and ECOWAS Vice-President, Damtien Tchintchibidja in Berlin, the BMZ promised to provide about €81m ($85.4m) in financial aid for peacebuilding and economic development programmes.
The chancellor said that his country had renewed its financial commitment to the tune of 81 million euros to ECOWAS to address areas such as energy and peacebuilding, among others.
He said, “We have enjoyed the partnership in the areas of support for the regions.
“Our mission in this is to improve the ECOWAS countries and its region. Our cooperation was felt during the pandemic, and we plan further to deepen our relation with ECOWAS.”
According to Scholz, the move came at a time when ECOWAS is one of several organisations trying to restore stability to West Africa.
He added,” “There have been six coups in West Africa since 2020, with the latest coming in July this year when the Republic of Niger’s army deposed and detained President Mohamed Bazoum.
“The situation of peace and security is important at these critical times, and we value the peace that the region enjoyed before the coup in the ECOWAS region.
“Also, we stand with not accepting coup, and when we look at the coup in Niger and that is why we want to deepen our cooperation.”
Speaking earlier, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray said that the chancellor’s visit symbolised the importance attach to Germany-ECOWAS cooperation.
He said that recently, they had concluded the agreement of 81 million euros that the German government and its people had committed to boost the ECOWAS region in sectors of the economy.
“As I have indicated to you during our little discussion, Germany have been a strong and consistent partner of ECOWAS and ECOWAS member states.
“Recently, we have concluded an agreement to the tune of 81 million euros that the government of Germany have decided to grant the ECOWAS to support us in various areas.
“Those are vital areas, as I have indicated; they cover areas such as peaceful and inclusive society, climate, energy transition, sustainable economy development, health, social protection and population.
“These are important sectors and we appreciate the support you have given to us in these areas.
“The recent agreement has brought Germany support to ECOWAS over decades or several years to close 500 million euros, we are very appreciative,” he said.
Touray further said that, during their brief meeting before the press briefing. They both discussed the challenges faced by the region on insecurity, infrastructure deficit and social development.
“We talked about the challenges that the region is facing, insecurity, infrastructure deficit, social development, and we’ve agreed to continue to work in those areas.
“Our regions are closely linked and what happens in one area affects the other, and we appreciate what Germany is doing individually and as well as through the European Union supporting this region.
‘We are particularly, appreciative of the partnership that we continue to enjoy with Germany and the EU.
“Particularly in the area of peace and security, unconstitutional change in government, stronger governance, we are mindful of the importance that these represent for our development,” he said.