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Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

A poor country even by West African standards, landlocked Burkina Faso has suffered from recurring droughts and military coups. Burkina Faso, which means “land of honest men”, has significant reserves of gold, but the country has faced domestic and external concern over the state of its economy and human rights.

In order to correct some of the itches obstructing development, The Economic Commission for Africa’s Sub-Regional Office for West Africa and the Government of Burkina Faso will in May co-host the 20th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) for West Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The ICE would be held from May 18-19 under the theme; “Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063 in West Africa: The role of development planning”. This session will include brainstorming, investigating, analysing and resolving obstacles hindering the growth and development of west African countries.

In addition, participants will spend the two days discussing how the region is doing in implementing the two crucial agendas, especially the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the world fights to eradicate all forms of poverty and improve the people’s well-being.

However, the meeting will look at recent trends that impacted the economic and social development of West African countries to identify the main challenges that need to be tackled and come up with recommendations that will accelerate growth and the economic transformation of the sub-region.

It is part of the objectives of The ICE, a body set up by the United Nations General Assembly, to bring together high-level decision-makers from Member States annually to discuss economic and social performance in a region and also propose relevant actions needed to improve the situation in the form of recommendations. It also reviews activities and supervises the development and general implementation of the sub-region’s Programme of Work, including the formulation of priority objectives.

Similarly, The ICE will be preceded by an Ad Hoc Experts’ Group Meeting, also set for Ouagadougou on May 16-17, 2017. This meeting will be held under the theme; “Impact of the Economic Partnership Agreements and the ECOWAS Common External Tariff on the structural transformation and the dynamics of integration in West Africa”.

It has been announced that delegates from 15 West African States will attend the 20th Session of the ICE. High-level representatives and experts from ECOWAS, the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the Mano River Union (MRU) and other Inter-Governmental Organisations in the sub-region are also expected to attend. Also, officials from the African Development Bank (AFDB), the World Bank and NEPAD will also attend the meeting as will representatives from other United Nations agencies.

Economic growth in Burkina Faso is expected to reach at least 5% in 2016 and 5.9% in 2017 due to the recovery of mining and the return to democratic institutions. With the introduction of this life changing innovative session, it is obvious that the country will witness a great turn around in country’s recognition and discovery of hidden capabilities.

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