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Thursday, 17 May 2018

Validation workshop on the West African (ECOWAS) regional strategy on practical arms control measures in Dakar, Senegal

From 16 to 17 May 2018, BICC provided technical support to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Small Arms Division and the Federal Republic of Germany during a validation workshop on the West African (ECOWAS) regional strategy on practical arms control measures for the African Union’s Programme of Action to Silencing the Guns Vision 2020.

Hosted at the headquarters of the ECOWAS Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) Dakar, Senegal, this validation workshop was attended by all fifteen ECOWAS member states, Officials from the ECOWAS Small Arms Division, the Federal Government of Germany and the Federal Republic of Switzerland, as well as representatives from BICC, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Small Arms Survey were also present.

During the two-day workshop, member states validated the importance of a two-section strategy to end all conflicts in West Africa. The first section focused on a regional strategy in which ECOWAS would like to work with member states in areas such as border enforcement, tracing and regulating craft weapon production. In section two the focus laid on the national priorities where member states were able to detail their two main national priorities. This strategy was a pilot effort which ECOWAS was asked by the Government of Germany to carry out with BICC. The elaborated strategy was based on the priority areas of work towards ending conflict on the continent of Africa, counter proliferation of illicit arms, as well support Member States working towards the African Union Strategy as well as the ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms.