The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has pledged $1 billion to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to promote bilateral cooperation and boost West African economies.

On Tuesday, May 21, 2024, USAID announced on the ECOWAS official website that the budget aims to improve the West African region’s economic development.

According to the announcement, the ECOWAS Vice-President, Mrs. Damtien L. Tchintchibidja, met with USAID’s Regional Director – West Africa, Mrs. Jo Lesser Oltheten, in Abuja to finalize a new collaboration agreement between their institutions.

Oltheten said that the financial support will meet the region’s unique requirements.

“The next five-year cooperative agreement, with an estimated budget of 1 billion U.S. dollars, will cover several thematic areas and will focus on the specific needs of ECOWAS and its Member States to boost the region’s economic development and the resilience of its people in the face of multiple economic, security and climate challenges.”

Oltheten emphasized the significance of the ECOWAS mission in advancing economic integration by interventions in the domains of industry, transportation, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resource management, commerce, monetary and financial issues, and social and cultural matters.

She recognized ECOWAS’s commitment to regional peace and security. In her welcome remarks, Tchintchibidja, Vice-President of the ECOWAS Commission, praised USAID for revitalizing the ECOWAS-US partnership.

She also disclosed that the new cooperation, which would be formalized soon, “covers several areas, namely peace and security, early warning mechanism, agriculture, health, gender, social inclusion, energy, and communication.”

The meeting, attended by Directors and experts from the ECOWAS Commission and USAID, was an opportunity for H.E. Mrs. Damtien L. Tchintchibidja and Mrs. Jo Lesser OLTHETEN to take stock of the cooperation between the two organizations and discuss the programs and projects to be covered by the future partnership agreement that will be signed this year between ECOWAS and USAID.

USAID acknowledged in a tweet that the primary areas of the 2024 new deal with ECOWAS include “economic growth, agriculture, energy, health, and peace and security.” A significant ECOWAS player, Nigeria, will likely benefit from the new arrangement with USAID.

Furthermore, USAID has been a critical donor or financier in several Nigerian projects. Nigeria is being highlighted since it is the largest national economy in Sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated population of about 214 million people.

The United States has affirmed that it will provide Nigeria with roughly $1.2 billion in foreign assistance in fiscal year 2022 to support economic development, education, democracy, health, energy and climate, humanitarian relief, security, and other initiatives.

Gabriel Eleojo Umoru
Gabriel Eleojo Umoru
I'm Gabriel Eleojo Umoru, a graduate of Mass Communication from Prince Abubakar Audu University (formerly Kogi State University Anyigba, Kogi State). My hobbies include writing, surfing the internet and listening to music. I'm into voice editing and project management. I also help people out in their research projects.

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