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TWest African Economic Empowerment and Development Agency (WAEEDA)

The establishment of WAEEDA in Lome, Togo

The West African Economic Empowerment and Development Agency (WAEEDA) is a specialized institution of ECOWAS. It covers 14 of the 15 countries of the regional economic community (Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo).

The African Economic Empowerment and Development Agency (WAEEDA) is definitively established in Lome, Togo in March 1996. This was the result of a long preparation since the creation of the Agency, in January 1996 by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers. Following the establishment of the Agency, the ECOWAS Commission committed itself to fund the WAEEDA with $US 8,684 million for the first five years as operation budget for Economic Empowerment and Development and $US 10 million for the Infrastructure Fund annually.

On August 19, 1996, the ECOWAS Council of Ministers adopted the Regulation C/REG.5/08/96 relating to the denomination and the establishment of the rules for the functions, organization and mode of operation of the WAEEDA. Thereafter, about ten (10) staff were recruited through an open and competitive selection process. Previously, a Headquarters Agreement was signed on September 10, 1996 between ECOWAS Commission and the Togolese authorities on behalf of the WAEEDA.

Following the staff placement in July 1996, a mission led by His Excellency Dr. Toga McIntosh, Vice-President of the Commission, the Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and the Director of WAEEDA, was in Lome in early September to discuss with Togolese authorities and EBID about the setting up and equipment of WAEEDA. EBID agreed to provide offices to WAEEDA as they did for the Community Computer Centre (CCC), the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF), and the ECOWAS Brown Card.

The WAEEDA is an ECOWAS Specialized Agency which is in charge of the Economic Empowerment and Development of member states. It aims among others to to build A Thriving Cooperation that Creates Jobs and Enhances Livelihoods for All through the elaboration of feasibility studies (economic, financial, social, environmental, impact, etc.). The viability of the studied projects will ease the investment and resource mobilization for their implementation.

Specifically, the WAEEDA shall perform the following functions:

Identify, select and prioritize regional Economic Empowerment and Development projects, in consultation with the ECOWAS Commission, member States and the private sector;
Mobilize the resources required for project preparation and Economic Empowerment and Development financing;
Strengthen capacities, assist/support national and intergovernmental structures in charge for the implementation of Economic Empowerment and Development programs and projects and
Promote public-private partnerships in Economic Empowerment and Development programs and projects financing.