Strengthening the police component of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Project description

Title: Strengthening the police component of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Commissioned by: German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: Africa (supranational); headquarters: Abuja, Nigeria
Lead executing agency: Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Overall term: 2008 bis 2012 (Phase 1); 2013 bis 2015 (Phase 2)

Context

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional economic union currently comprising 15 countries. The original objective of ECOWAS was to promote greater economic integration, but its tasks have broadened over the years. It has now become increasingly involved in crisis prevention and conflict resolution. The establishment of the regional task force, the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF), was an important step towards developing an African peace and security architecture. The ECOWAS Commission is currently working to set up a multi-dimensional institution that is to include military, police and civilian components.

Objective

The police component of the ECOWAS task force has been strengthened.

Approach

GIZ is implementing a programme commissioned by the German Federal Foreign Office (AA) to strengthen the capacity of police structures in Africa. The programme works in selected African countries to strengthen police structures and institutions by means of expert advice and measures to improve training, infrastructure and equipment as well as by enhancing management skills.

GIZ supports the police component of ECOWAS by providing advisory services and financing, and by implementing training measures. The project finances two police experts who support the Department of Political Affairs, Peace and Security at ECOWAS in the fields of training, evaluation and logistics.
The project is being implemented with assistance from the ’Support programme for the ECOWAS Commission‘, which is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Results achieved so far

The performance of the ECOWAS police component has been improved. In particular, the multidimensional approach taken by the Political Affairs, Peace and Security department (PAPS) in all its strategic planning processes has been strengthened. This achievement is proving beneficial to the ECOWAS Commission, particularly in the context of the police mission in Guinea Bissau, sent in response to the military coup of 2012.

Regular coordination meetings are helping to improve the conceptual and strategic setup of the unit, as well as its connections to the African Union.
Evaluation measures have been introduced for the police institutions in the individual member states. The results of these can be used for the development of further training programmes to strengthen the capacity of the ECOWAS police component in the long term.