The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU) have signed four agreements worth 14.5 billion naira (over 91 million U.S. dollars) to support West African countries in economy, governance, security and fighting against drugs and organized crimes.
Under the program, the EU will contribute 4 billion naira (25 million U.S. dollars) and provide technical assistance to improve public finance management and tax reforms in ECOWAS countries, according to a statement issued Thursday by the EU delegation in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
Some 5.4 billion naira (33.75 million U.S. dollars) has been earmarked for the operations of African peace and security architecture and regional mechanisms for conflict prevention.
According to the statement, the EU will support ECOWAS' efforts to tackle drug trafficking and abuse in the region with 3.3 billion naira (20.6 million U.S. dollars).
Under the financial management reforms program, 1.8 billion naira (15.54 million U.S. dollars) will be allocated to enhance ECOWAS' capacity to comply with international standards of accounting.
ECOWAS groups Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.