ECOWAS RESOURCE CENTER PROJECT

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established on May 28 1975 via the treaty of Lagos in recognition of the common historical, socio-cultural, economic and political experiences and ties of the people of the community. The treaty aimed at strengthening economic integration through the free movement of goods, persons and services; and to consolidate Member States’ efforts to maintain peace, stability, and security.

The Community is made up of fifteen Member States comprising 8 Francophone Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’ Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo: 5 Anglophone the Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone; and 2 Luxophone countries: Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau.

The region has a land area of 5,110,914 km2 and a   population of over 320 million (2015), about 60% of whom are youths (15 – 35 years). Unemployment among young men and women in West Africa has reached alarming levels. The ever-growing number of jobless youths, and the desperation that accompanies this joblessness, undermines progress in all countries especially those countries coming out of conflicts.

 According to ILO (2016) and AfDB (2013) in the recent PASET Forum in Nairobi (2017), Africa has a younger population than other continents as half of the region’s population is under 25 years of age and the Sub-Saharan Africa hosts the world’s poorest employed population as stated in the following data:

  1. Nearly 37% of the world’s extreme working poor reside in sub-Saharan Africa

  2. 34.3% of the region’s employed population live below the poverty threshold of US$1.90 per day

  3. 64% of the employed earn less than US$3.10 a day.

  4. Vulnerable employment is at 70% of total employed against the global average of 46.3 per cent.

  5. The informal sector contributes about 55% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP and 80% of the labour force

 

The aims of ECOWAS are to:

  1. Promote co-operation and integration;

  2. Maintain and enhance economic stability;

  3. Foster relations among Member States and

  4. Contribute to the progress and development of the African Continent.

 

In order to achieve these aims and in accordance with the relevant provisions of the ECOWAS Treaty, the Community has over the years ventured into different areas of human endeavour that are considered relevant to the overall emancipation and development of the Community. It is within this framework that ECOWAS has renewed its commitment to the revitalization and modernization of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) among other priorities. Furthermore Adult literacy.

The Community operates on the fundamental principles of: Inter-state cooperation; Solidarity and subsidiarity; Harmonization of policies and integration programmes; Non –aggression; Regional peace, Stability and Security; Peaceful settlement of disputes; Respect, Promotion and Protection of human rights; Promotion and Consolidation of Democracy and Good Governance; Accountability, Economic and Social justice.

ECOWAS TVET / STEM SECTOR ACHIEVEMENT

The growing problem of unemployment of the citizens, especially the youth/adult, has been a major developmental concern for governments of member states. Without job-related skills, youth and adults do not fully benefit from the employment opportunities that abound in the region.

A major implication is that, unemployment have been a major factor in fuelling social crisis and conflicts, restiveness and rebellion, terrorism and criminality, and the general political instability in the countries of the region. It is therefore expedient to promote the type of human capital that can put ECOWAS on the map of the global knowledge economy.

The ECOWAS Commission, has concluded countries surveys on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in the region from 2013 to 2015, and recognise that this sub-sector holds the key to the provision of market relevant and demand driven skills that can spur entrepreneurial activities and socio-economic development in the region. TVET is therefore found to be the main element of the development strategy to support young people to acquire professional and employment-related skills and become self-reliant and a sure means of integrating adults to the world of work.

The outcome of the surveys formed the basis for the ECOWAS TVET Strategy for Skills Improvement and Employability (ETSSIE) which sets out the policy directions that the member states could adopt to provide a way out of the current crisis onto the path of industrial productivity, knowledge economy and political stability.

The Strategy document also provides the mechanisms for laying the foundations for higher integration by establishing the milestones that will form the basis for facilitating the mobility of labour, goods and services within the ECOWAS region and beyond.

It is expected that each member state would draw inspiration from the ECOWAS Strategy to articulate its own national policy and vision for TVET whose objective is to establish an adequate labour force, with appropriate skills, that will support national economic development which is viable, environmentally sustainable and contribute to mobility, social and cultural advancement.

It is projected that the ETSSIE will guide the Member States alongside other stakeholders to develop a National structure of TVET and show the inter-relation of the various providers, employers and the Government.

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Robotics Training Lab

The Sense robotics builds innovation, creativity and coding skills in three stages.

Mechatronics Training Labs

The mechatronics program includes the following disciplines:  
 Basic electronics  Pneumatics systems  Hydraulics systems  CNC machines.

STEM

MultiCenter

Science, Technology

Engineering & Mathematics

The world is facing a shortage of STEM qualified workers, bringing STEM education to the forefront will create massive economic and quality of life improvements.

BENEFICIARIES

Teachers of Technical Colleges

Unemployed Youth

Adult

Artisans

OTHER PARTNERS