The Economic Community of West African (ECOWAS) has called on private sector to invest in peace and security within the region.
Dr. Sintiki Tarfa, Director, Humanitarian and Social Affairs, ECOWAS made the call on Friday at the end of ECOWAS-EU PSS Project meeting.
She said that businesses will only thrive where there is peace and security, adding
that the issue with peace and security is beyond law and enforcement.
She therefore called on the private sector to join hands with the regional and national government to address challenges to peace and security in the region.
Tarfa while recalling how the private sector rallied round the government during the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, said the same could be done to address peace and security.
She said: “We should leverage on the COVID-19 example and bring in the private sector and say if there is no peace and security whether nationally or regional, it will affect your business and so why don’t you also work with us weither it is ECOWAS or national government, or even the civil society to make the investment to ensure that there is security and peace in our region.
Tarfa said: “I think that there are many areas we are looking at to ensure peace and security within our region. It is open for private sector to see where they can make added investment to make sure that communities are stabilised.
“For example, can you provide resources to strengthen resiliance and recovery where there are areas that have been affected by climate change and people’s livelihood have been distorted. How do you intervene in ensuring that there is recovery for such community so that they are not drawn into conflict. That is an important investment.
“We shouldnt look at investment in ensuring security and stability not just in the area of law and enforcement alone.
“What we are saying is that we should broaden investment in law and security to address other issues that are very important to community citizen that can bring about stability within our region. “
She added that: “There is an important role for the private sector in peace and security within our region. It is not something we should leave to government, it is not something we should leave to ECOWAS alone but you know it is something they can play an imporatnt role within the region.”
Michael Olugbode in Abuja