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High-Level Advocacy Mission In Ivory Coast To Support Fund For Energy, Transport Development

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1. In 2009, at the 36th Summit of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Abuja, the creation of a fund for the development and financing of the transport and energy sectors (FODETE) was approved. The Fund will be financed by a revenue levy mechanism generated by the main commodities in the region and possibly by other viable sources. A feasibility study was carried out in 2016 with the participation of all ECOWAS Member States.

2. ECOWAS presented the FODETE study at the 30th session of the ECOWAS Administrative and Financial Committee (CAF) in November 2016 with a view to obtaining the approval of FODETE by the ECOWAS statutory bodies. However, the CAF requested an expanded consultation with industry experts and ministers. A consultative meeting on FODETE was therefore organised in Lomé in November 2019 to present FODETE to the heads of ECOWAS national offices. National consultations were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but were finally organised by ECOWAS national offices in 2021.

3. A regional consultative meeting was held in Dakar in March 2022 to present the results of national consultations and reach a consensus, particularly on levy rates. The main recommendations of this regional consultation concern the updating of the macroeconomic and financial component of the FODETE study and the implementation by ECOWAS of a advocacy mission to the four countries that will contribute the most to FODETE (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal) before the submission of the project to the ECOWAS Conference of Heads of State and Government.

4. Following this recommendation, the ECOWAS Commission organised a high-level and advocacy mission to the Government of Côte d’Ivoire on 21 and 22 February 2023. This mission was led by Mr. Sediko DOUKA, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation of the ECOWAS Commission.

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5. The objective of this mission was to sensitise the key ministers of Côte d’Ivoire on the FODETE file, to demonstrate the benefits of FODETE in terms of sustainable infrastructure financing, to discuss the schedule for the implementation of FODETE, to inform about the next data collection missions for the update of the FODETE file in May 2023, as well as to present FODETE to the ECOWAS statutory bodies

6. The mission was facilitated by the ECOWAS National Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and the Diaspora. She had working sessions with the Minister of Energy, Mines and Oil as well as with officials from the Ministry of State for Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Diaspora, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Ministry of Budget and State Portfolio, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of State for Agriculture and Rural Development.

7. At each of these sessions, His Excellency Mr. Sediko DOUKA, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy, Mines, Water Resources, Digitalisation and Postal Services of the ECOWAS Commission, thanked his interlocutors, recalled the context and objective of the mission and sought the support of Côte d’Ivoire to make FODETE a reality. He also stressed that ECOWAS, in addition to its public-known political aspect, is working a lot economically through its achievements in the fields of energy, transport, agriculture, to name a few. He illustrated these achievements with concrete examples, such as infrastructure projects in preparation (Abidjan-Lagos), juxtaposed control posts carried out, as well as WAPP’s energy achievements.

8. Mr. DOUKA clarified that the update of the FODETE macro-economic study will be carried out in the coming months and requested the availability of the various technical departments to help the consultant collect the data. He concluded by showing how important Côte d’Ivoire’s support is to realise FODETE at the level of statutory bodies.

9. The Minister of Energy, Mines and Oil of Côte d’Ivoire and the other officials met all reiterated the support of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire for FODETE. They committed to working closely with ECOWAS for the finalisation of the FODETE file for its presentation to ECOWAS statutory bodies in December 2023.

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