Regional economic groupings
are playing an increasing role in the allocation of development aid. William
Awinador-Kanyirige is an official at the Commission for the Economic Community
of West African States (ECOWAS). He told Voice of America English to Africa
reporter Joana Mantey in Accra, Ghana, that development partners sometimes
channel money for regional projects through the organization.
ECOWAS helps member countries coordinate
their policies on security and regional development. It also helps mobilize
resources to implement the policies.
Awinador-Kanyi says, "Under
peace and security you are talking about activities that relate to the
prevention of conflict. If there is conflict in any member state, ECOWAS can
quickly mobilize relevant resources to address that conflict. More important is
the development of capacity to prevent the conflict through the promotion of
good governance and democracy by way of elections."
ECOWAS plays other roles in
infrastructural development. It has invested in projects such as road networks,
railways and an electric power pool system in the sub-region.
"It is not too difficult for us to
mobilize funds because ECOWAS is seen as a model of regional economic
integration. It has a lot of goodwill from donor partners," Awinador-Kanyirige
He added that a mechanism has
been put into place to ensure transparency in the use of donor funds. "We are
also accountable to each other so the arrangement is quite transparent."