As part of the implementation process of the Organised Crime: West Africa Response to Trafficking (OCWAR-T) project, the German International Cooperation (GIZ) as the lead implementing agency, the ECOWAS Commission, The European Union, the German Federal Foreign Office and other implementing partners – namely the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the Enhancing Africa’s response to transnational organised crime (ENACT) – held the third meeting of the Steering Committee on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.
The meeting held via a virtual platform was an opportunity for the members of the steering committee as the supreme decision-making body of the OCWAR-T project to deliberate and provide strategic direction for the project interventions and ensure consistency with the objectives of the project in the implementation so far.
In her opening speech, the Co-Chair representing the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Sinitki T. Ugbe, thanked the European Union and Germany for the financial support of the project.
She also appreciated the good partnership between ECOWAS and the Partners of the OCWAR-T project allowing the strengthening of structures and capacities to fight more effectively against transnational organised crime in the region.
The Representative of the European Union and Co-Chair of the Steering Committee, Mrs. Tassin-Pelzer congratulated the OCWAR-T project for the achievements so far and thanked all the partners for their efforts: She invited them to take the opportunity to explore ways to make the program more strategic.
GIZ Nigeria Country Director Ina Hommers in her opening speech reiterated GIZ’s commitment to continue the activities and actions planned in order to achieve the objectives set by the project.
The project management in their presentation gave an overview about the activities of the project in the last year and its achievements. At the same time discussed challenges in the implementation and the way forward including an up- coming mid- term evaluation of the project
Some achievement :
Participants at the meeting included the ECOWAS Commission, European Union, GIZ Nigeria, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and Strengthening Africa’s Response to Transnational Organised Crime (ENACT).
On the OCWAR-T project:
Jointly funded by the European Union and the German Federal Foreign Office (AA), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is implementing the “Organised Crime: West African Response to Trafficking” (OCWAR–T) in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the Enhancing Africa’s response to transnational organised crime (ENACT). As part of a regional and coherent approach to combatting organised crime and trafficking in West Africa, the project – with an overall budget of 24,4 Mio. Euros – is supporting the ECOWAS Commission and ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania in reducing Transnational Organised Crime (TOC).
For this purpose, the project is strengthening structures and capacities on national and regional level and is fostering evidence- led policy- and decision- making to more effectively combat TOC in the ECOWAS region.
Specifically, the project aims to:
(1) enhance national capacities of criminal intelligence and investigation task forces as well as the judiciary to conduct complex investigations into TOC and trafficking and foster cooperation across the region.
(2) reduce illicit trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) by strengthening regional and cross-border cooperation, improving national framework conditions, structures and capacities in the field of SALW control, and reducing the availability and proliferation of SALW at the community level with a focus on border communities.
(3) strengthen the national and regional planning, coordination and monitoring capacities with regard to the implementation of the ECOWAS Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, foster regional dialogue and cooperation in the field of combatting TIP, set- up a Regional Crime Against the Person Prevention Policy (RCAPPP) and a Regional Referral Mechanism (RRM) on TIP as well as strengthening the structure and capacities of National Referral Mechanisms (NRM) and support their operationalization in the framework of the RRM;
(4) improve the knowledge- base on TOC and foster evidence- led decision and policy- making on national and regional level; facilitate efforts towards the domestication of international treaties and agreements on TOC as well as the harmonisation of legal instruments in the ECOWAS region and strengthen the capacities of Civil Society Organisations (CSO’s), human rights institutions and ombudsmen to improve oversight and dialogue on TOC and trafficking.
For more info on the OCWAR-T project : https://bit.ly/3edZpaE
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).