The 22nd Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) of West Africa is expected to be held in Monrovia, Liberia from May 8-10, 2019.
The ICE is a body established by the United Nations General Assembly. The two-day session will bring the ICE face to face with high-level decision-makers from member States to discuss economic and social performance and to make relevant recommendations.
In addition, the ICE also monitors the activities of the Bureau and oversee the drafting and general implementation of its work program, including the formulation of priority objectives for the Sub-Region. Thus, the ICE guides the programs of the Bureau by ensuring that subregional priorities are well integrated, and by making recommendations to resolve issues affecting economic and social development within the Sub-Region. These recommendations may, where appropriate, be considered by the ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning & Economic Development.
According to a communiqué, the session will be held in plenary sessions, with roundtable meeting, during which reports prepared by the SRO and papers by eminent experts will be presented and discussed.
The session would be held under the theme, “Demographic Dynamics for Sustainable Development in West Africa: Challenges and Policy Actions.”
The ICE meets annually to discuss economic and social performance, based on working documents prepared by the Sub-regional Office for West Africa of the Economic Commission for Africa.
The Sub-regional Office for West Africa, based in Niamey, Niger, covers the 15 member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. Experts from these member States form the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts of West Africa.
However, this year’s ICE22 session will be preceded by an ad hoc expert group meeting from 6 to 7 May 2019, on the theme, “National capacities and mechanisms in evaluating progress in the implementation of agendas 2030 and 2063: assessment, challenges and prospects in West Africa.”
It is also the statutory framework of the ICE, for member States to oversee the development and implementation of the Offices work programme, monitor its activities, as well as provide guidance for the Office’s programmes by ensuring that sub-regional priorities are included as much as possible.
In addition the ICE makes recommendations on economic and social development issues in the sub-region, and these may, as appropriate, be considered by the joint ECA-African Union meeting of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
The Economic Commission for Africa ECA, established by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, is one of five United Nations regional commissions mandated to promote the economic and social development of Africa. Its five sub-regional offices translate its normative and analytical work into operational activities in the sub-region.
These bureaux fulfill their mandates by: providing technical assistance to the regional economic communities and member States on policy harmonization, and provide guidance on meeting their specific needs; facilitating regional integration by serving as focal points for policy dialogue and information sharing between the Commission and stakeholders in the sub-region.
The meeting will be held at a time when the region is undergoing major developments as member states continue to take steps to enhance development, which remains slow despite a decade of economic growth in countries.
Those steps also aimed at aligning national development strategies, as closely as possible, with the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063. It can be recalled that in 2018, Niger officially launched its Economic and Social Development Plan (PDES), Burkina Faso organized an international conference on the implementation of the National Economic and Social Development Plan (PNDES), and Liberia revised its Agenda for Transformation to develop the Pro-Poor Agenda (2018-2023) for Prosperity and Development. Senegal also adopted a new development plan in January 2019.
Delegates from the 15 West African States, as well as senior representatives and experts from ECOWAS, UEMOA, the Mano River Union and other intergovernmental organizations of the sub-region, the African Union Commission, the African Development Bank and the World Bank, will also be represented.