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The ECOWAS Commission which was transformed from an erstwhile ECOWAS Secretariat in January 2007 seeks to implement the vision, mission and objectives of ECOWAS as a regional grouping of fifteen (15) member States. Its headquarters is located in Abuja, Nigeria. It is headed by the President, assisted by a Vice President and seven Commissioners, comprising experienced professionals who are providing the leadership in this new orientation. As a Commission, it is deemed to be a multilateral institution of professional staff with diplomatic status, supported by General Secretariat staff both tasked to realize the mission, vision and objectives set under the ECOWAS Protocols. The Commission is grouped into Departments and directorates from diverse cultural, ethnic, national occupational, gender, intellectual and professional background, to help achieve the mandate under the ECOWAS treaty of protocols.

Vision

To create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous and cohesive region, built on good governance, and where people have the capacity to access and harnesses enormous resources through the creation of opportunities for sustainable development.

Mission

To promote cooperation and integration, leading to the establishment of an economic union West Africa in order to raise the living standards of its people and to maintain and enhance economic stability, foster relations among member states and contribute to the progress and development of the African Continent

Institutional Arrangements

As part of its renewal process, ECOWAS is pre-occupied with the implementation of critical and strategic programmes that will increase existing cohesion and progressively eliminate identified and existing barriers to full integration. In this way, the 250 million citizens can ultimately take ownership so that concertedly, we can realize our new vision of moving from an ECOWAS of States to an ECOWAS of people by 2020.

Anecdotal evidence supports the fact that new institutional arrangements are necessary when an organization or a region adopts a vision and it should be a response to new mandates. The present structure has been with the ECOWAS Region for a long time and it is based on the revised treaty of 1993. The adoption of an ECOWAS Vision necessitates a review of not only the treaty but the institutional arrangement as a matter of urgency. This will strengthen cooperation and coordination, reposition the region to respond to continuing and emerging issues.

Directorates and Job functions

The Strategic Planning Directorate: was set up under the Office of the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission to develop a mechanism for ensuring the formulation of a sub-regional strategy for implementing the regional integration and development agenda within the NEPAD framework and its conversion into operational, sectoral, regional and national programmes.

The Private Sector Directorate: was created as part of the regional strategic plan and is saddled with the mandate of providing the adequate infrastructural support and the necessary policy input that would ensure regional and national competitiveness as well as conducive business environment to support a regional investment; create a conducive business and work environment, provide basic economic and technological infrastructure, education and skills development, entrepreneurship and enterprise development, innovation and creativity among others.

The Early Warning Directorate: was created out of the regional strategic plan as a proactive mechanism for change. It is saddled with the responsibility of a post conflict reconstruction and a more active conflict prevention, management and resolution thereby providing stability and safety needed for sustainable development.

The Peace Keeping Operations And Regional Security Directorate: functions as a prerequisite for realizing the new vision and it is saddled with the responsibility of mobilizing resources and enhancing the strategies required to fulfill the region’s mandate of maintaining peace, stability and security in the region within the context of good governance and justice as a basis of sustainable development. This is informed by systematic early warning signals. This directorate seeks to uncover the underlying causes of conflict, put an end to on-going conflicts, prevent the occurrence of old and new ones, and ensure effective post-conflict interventions.

The Transport/Telecommunications Directorate: has the mandate of promoting cooperation among member states for the development of a viable regional infrastructure. This is done by enhancing cost effectiveness of interstate transport; improving transport facilitation procedures and regulations; promoting qualitative, reliable and competitive telecommunication services.

The Directorate of Industry/Mines: has the responsibility of developing a harmonized policy and strategy for the development of industries and mines in the region. This is realized by finalizing the development of regional industrial and mining policies and action plans; fostering competition and encouraging innovation, research and development to ensure technical efficiency, maintain standards and increased quality of products; and promoting industrial partnerships and competitiveness in the region.

The Directorate of Trade: is saddled with the responsibility of promoting trade integration, labour and capital mobility. This is done by facilitating growth of intraregional trade Through the establishment of a customs union fostered by policy convergence, elimination of anti competitive practices and documentation of the informal sector; facilitating increased competition in the productive sector and cross border transactions; and promoting the implementation of protocols relating to free movement of persons, capital, goods and services, and rights of establishment.

The Directorate of Gender Development/Youth/Sports/Civil Society: has the mandate of providing policy direction for the promotion of human development as an instrument of poverty reduction. This is done by promoting the development of social infrastructure and services in health and education sectors; promoting gender equality, parity, women empowerment and youth and sports development; promote implementation of existing policies and protocols relating to human and drug trafficking, child labour, money laundering and humanitarian initiatives.

The Directorate of Agriculture/Rural Development: designs strategies and tools to give impetus to regional agricultural development and to ensure the sustainability of the environmental basis of production. This is done by the contribution to sustainable development through rational and management of natural resources and environmental protection; provision of equitable and effective management and water resources to ensure sustainability of its uses; and the provision of support for efforts at increased agricultural production for food security and the mitigation of food crises arising from natural disasters, pests, adverse economic developments and other shocks.

The Directorate of Education And Culture: deals with the harmonization of educational policies that would adequately prepare the youth for professional careers of their choice which would enable them obtain employment anywhere within the region; policies that would improve the connections between educational institutions and industry to enhance creativity and innovation; policies that would establish regional centers of excellence in teaching and research for such skills as business, IT and engineering to train and retrain regional intellectuals and human capitalinstead of the current dependence on expatriate donor technical assistance; policies that would promote academic exchanges within the region at both student and faculty levels; and policies that would ensure the promotion and protection of indigenous knowledge through intellectual property rights.

The Directorate of Environment/Water Resources: deals with the promotion of natural resources and environmental management through the implementation of regional and international conventions, treaties and agreements; regional development, training and research programmes in natural resource management. On the other hand on human capital development and empowerment and offering a healthy socio-economic environment where women children and youths thrive to have equal access to resources and opportunities.

The Directorate Of Customs: has the mandate of implementing policies which would lead to the achievement of a region-wide functioning customs union through effective implementation of ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) and complete removal of the many remaining non-tariff impediments to intra-ECOWAS trade.

The Communications Directorate has the mandate of sensitizing citizens of the various ECOWAS Institutions, their mandates, performance benchmarks and impact. This entails large scale communication and sensitization campaign to be initiated and sustained throughout the community.

The Directorate of Energy: has the mandate to implement policies on energy for the achievement of a dynamic regional energy market, based on both traditional and renewable sources of energy which is envisaged as part of the 2020 competitive West African Economy. This involves the positioning of the West African power Pool to guarantee efficient regional energy production, transmission and distribution.

The Directorate of Free Movement/Tourism: has the mandate of helping the region to operate within a single open integrated regional market in which resources, people, goods and services would move freely and unimpeded; a conducive regional environment in which economic and social policies are harmonized and transactions conducted in one currency within an integrated financial market; and translating into reality "ECOWAS of people".

The Directorate of Multilateral Surveillance: functions to strengthen the multilateral- surveillance mechanism for the convergence of macroeconomic policies; conducting special studies on multilateral surveillance and other socioeconomic development issues to aid the preparation of position statements and policy briefs on regional integration; enhancing capacity through training and research for macroeconomic policy, design,analysis and management.

The Political Affairs Directorate: is saddled with the responsibility of improving governance and the creation of democratic institutions for the fair conduct of election, maintenance of rule of law, and respect for human rights; strengthening relevant institutions through training, dialogue reorientation, and peer review instruments; promoting timely ratification and implementation of the protocol on democracy and good governance; promoting the harmonization of electoral process.

Directorate of Legal Affairs: develops a regulatory framework for a competitive business environment; harmonize business laws; and implement the harmonized business laws.

The External Relations Directorate: functions to improve visibility through deeper interaction with development partners to ensure that the plans and programmes of ECOWAS have depth in terms of pragmatic content, coverage and financing; establish a transparent mechanism in the management of resources for the region's project; and facilitate the conclusion of the Joint Financial Agreement (JFA) with a view of instituting an appropriate budget support arrangement.

The Directorate of Human Resources: functions to enhance the technical and analytical skills of staff in all relevant areas in order to create a knowledge-base ECOWAS Commission; identify the existing capacity and skill gaps and determine the institutional and human capacity requirements for the effective and efficient implementation of the mandates; ensure the recruitment and retention of qualified, competent and disciplined personnel with proven record of excellence and professionalism through a systematic and transparent recruitment process; develop a suitable and sustainable training programme for meeting the skill requirements; and institute a mechanism for skills transfer through technical assistance and relevant consultancy services.

The Directorate of General Administration: ensures adequate and optimal work environment (office space & equipment) for a smooth functioning of the ECOWAS Commission.

The Directorate of Finance functions to reform and codify the budgeting, finance and accounting procedures to promote higher sense of transparency and accountability.

The Directorate of Community Computer Center: upgrades and updates the existing facilities to a world class enterprise information system (EIS), (information technology infrastructure, library, archiving documentation process, mailing system and security), for enhanced informed exchange and productivity.

The Directorate of Conference/Protocol: is saddled with the onerous responsibility of managing the conferences and protocol procedures of the Commission. This consists of four key components which are: the coordination of meetings, which also involves translation and interpretation; the management of travels; the management of infrastructures; and capacity building.

The Directorate of Research /Statistics ensures collaboration, coordination and synergy between member states, ECOWAS institutions and other regional bodies; establishing links between the ECOWAS institutions and relevant research and policy institutions to internalize the vision of the region and mainstream research findings into policy; Supporting relevant regional institutions in the conduct of studies and research in contemporary areas and mainstream research findings into policy; strengthening the capacity Member States for effective coordination and implementation of ECOWAS policies and programmes at the national level.

The Directorate of Humanitarian/Social Affairs functions to facilitate rapid and timely responses to emergencies and disasters; provide relief to victims of disasters and emergencies; and facilitates the strengthening of the capacity for effective and efficient management of emergencies and disasters in the sub-region.

Candidates looking for a position with the ECOWAS Commission, should possess a combination of skills, attributes and behavior that are directly related to the above mentioned job functions for a successful performance on the job.

Efficiency, diversity, participation, transparency, integrity, honesty, professionalism and excellence are the core values shared by all the professions within the ECOWAS Commission.

If you embody these values then this is the place for you and your career.

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