By Ndey Sowe
Officials of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), in collaboration with the Government of The Gambia, recently launched the National Early Warning and Response Mechanism Coordinating Centre (NCCRM), which event was attended by different stakeholders at a local hotel in Senegambia, and signed by heads of states and governments of the Community and members of the committee of the 45th ordinary summit that took place in July 2014.
Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, president of the ECOWAS Commission thanked all those who attended the programme, and said ECOWAS also signed with the Gambian authorities, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the operations of the centre and handed over a cheque of US$20,000 to support its initial operations. He said the ECOWAS Commission is grateful to the Government of The Gambia especially in the establishment of the centre. He explained that the NCCRM is established under the authority of the ECOWAS heads of States and Government adopted framework at the 45th ordinary summit in July 2014, and also established by executive order in December 2019, positioning the Centre under the Office of the Vice President. He said the main purpose of the centre is to coordinate and monitor early warning and response units at various institutions on issues relating to human security.
Baboucarr Bouy, the Minister of Public Service, Administrative Reforms, Policy Coordination and Delivery explained that after discussions with the Force Commander and his deputy, a detailed presentation on the Force’s operations achievements and challenges were made by the head of operations, adding that the President of the Commission also visited the ECOWAS Representative in Banjul where he met with the Resident Representative Miatta Lilly French and staff, and urged them to continue their good work with professionalism.
Officials of the European Union were also present at the event and thanked the ECOWAS Commission and the Gambia Government for launching the Centre in the country.
According to the EU, the opening of the centre has shown commitment for the Gambia Government to advance human security and to boost Gambia’s national conflict prevention as part of ECOWAS’ mandate. The EU officials also recognized the leadership of the ECOWAS Commission in developing this highly sophisticated system in partnership with member states in order to detect and better respond to human security across the region.
“The Government of The Gambia and the ECOWAS Commission have played a very important role by launching this centre, marking a significant milestone,” the EU representative expressed, and said they have been supporting the ECOWAS Commission on this journey for years.
Baboucarr Ousmaila Joof, the Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment indicated that human security is fundamental especially in the area of development, and without which, no meaningful development can be achieve by any nation.
Binta Singhateh, the Director for the centre who also delivered the vote of thanks, expressed her sincere gratitude to ECOWAS for adopting the strategic framework for the establishment of the centre in The Gambia. She applauded the European Union for providing the usual support to the centre by providing office equipment and three vehicles.