The 10th edition of the ‘Get to Know ECOWAS’ programme focused on the topic of the European co-funded programme ‘Security for all: promoting inclusive security provision and democratic governance through CSO involvement in the wider West African region’.
Nineteen young civil society activists, academics and journalists from ECOWAS countries gained insights into the role of ECOWAS in regional Security Sector Reform and Governance (SSR/G). In particular, the programme intended to shed light on how civil society can interact with, monitor and lobby for implementing the SSR/G framework of ECOWAS. This year’s edition was organised in collaboration with the ECOWAS Commission, the Directorate of Political Affairs, Peace and Security. The activity was part of the collaboration between FES and CISLAC ‘Security for all’ project with support from the European Union.
The programme included visits to the Parliament, the Commission as well as the Court of Justice of ECOWAS, during which the participants were introduced to the structure of the respective institution as well as its role with respect to SSR/G. In addition, and due to the relevance to the topic, the participants also visited the Peace and Security Department of the Commission as well as the Early Warning Directorate.
On top of the visits to the various institutions of ECOWAS, there were a variety of interactive presentations, on topics ranging from civil-military cooperation in peacekeeping and the role of donor partners in the implementation of ECOWAS’ SSR/G framework, to human security threats in West Africa and the role of gender in SSR/G.
Throughout the week, the participants developed outlines for their own papers, relating to specific aspects of SSR/G either in West Africa in general or specific ECOWAS member states. The papers are to be completed in the weeks after the event.