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Bridging the gap between Early Warning and Early Response for a peaceful West Africa

By ECOWAS (CEDEAO)
ECOWAS Bridging the gap between Early Warning and Early Response for a peaceful West Africa
JUL 8, 2022 LISTEN

The Directorate of Political Affairs (DPA) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), through the Conflict Prevention unit of the Mediation and Coordination of Regional Political Affairs Division, and the USAID Reacting to Early Warning and Response Data Program in West Africa II (USAID REWARD II), convened a three-day Collaborative Planning Exercise (CPX) at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC) in Accra, Ghana.

In his opening remarks, the ECOWAS Commission’s Director, Political Affairs represented Mr. Constant Gnacadja, stated that the CPX creates an opportunity for the various participants to use the JARP tools in situational and actor analysis for collaborative response planning to early warning alerts aimed at improving human security in Ghana. “The complementary work of regional, national, and community-based organizations in Ghana will build viable relationships with the diverse stakeholders operating in the EW/ER space”, he added.

Also speaking, the USAID REWARD II Chief of Party Mr. Alimou Diallo congratulated ECOWAS for simulating collaborative EW/ER that will reinforce the institutionalization and ownership of the Joint Analysis and Response Planning (JARP) process and tools within the ECOWAS Commission and across the member states to reduce the risk of violent conflicts. He further noted this effort is in line with the USAID REWARD II program that is supporting ECOWAS and its member states to strengthen early warning and response systems and promote democracy and peaceful elections across West Africa.

Organized by the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Unit, the activity was facilitated by staff of ECOWAS from DPA and Early Warning and USAID REWARD II, with support from the Ghana National Center for the Coordination of Response Mechanism (NCCRM) and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center. The workshop gathered approximately 30 participants including key ECOWAS personnel, national level actors, such as Civil Society Organizations (CSO), Community-Based Organizations (CBO) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) who are leaders and practitioners in the Ghana national Early Warning /Early Response (EW/ER) infrastructure. Over the course of the three days, the participants went through current early warning analysis regarding trends in human security risks and structural vulnerabilities in Ghana, with a special focus on separatism, renewal of chieftaincy disputes, mob violence, the threat of extremist spillover, protests, mining-related unrest, health and pandemics, and political/election related tensions/incidents.

The three-day activity was patterned after the Joint Analysis and Response Planning (JARP) that ECOWAS developed with USAID support spanning a process of assessment, analysis, case study work, and the development of response plans

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