The ECIATA Project Team visited Abuja, the Federal Capital of Nigeria, which hosts the ECOWAS Commission and also the Regional EU Delegation for the ECOWAS Region.
The Team discussed the EDULINK II Funded ECIATA Project with both the ECOWAS Commission and EC Delegation and also explore areas of complementarity and synergies for collaboration between the ECIATA Partners and both the ECOWAS Commission and EU Delegation. At the EC Delegation office in Abuja, the First Secretary and Head of Trade Section, Massimo de Luca, and Juan Casla, Head of the EC Economic and Governance Section stated that the focus of the current EU projects in West Africa was to strengthen trade capacities and competitiveness in regional agriculture.
The ECIATA project team highlighted the challenge posed by the vast gap between the dissemination of information between academia and policy formulators in the region and the need to bridge this through collaboration between the Academic Community and Trade Officials.
The EU Delegation shared their experiences on a number of Agriculture and Trade Programmes funded under the 10th EDF (European Development Fund) and expressed their interest in the Project and believe that there could be possible areas of collaboration between the Delegation and regional Academic Community on ongoing or future Programmes under the 11th EDF in both Trade and the Agriculture Sector. During the visit to the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Gbenga Obideyi, Director for Trade, ECOWAS Commission expressed his enthusiasm on the project and called for closer collaboration between the Academic Community and the ECOWAS Trade Directorate at the ECOWAS Commission.
Source: Elsie Okulajah, Communication Officer, ECIATA Project