ECOWAS Chief Justices Meet in Benin

first_imgA meeting of Chief Justices of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has ended in the capital city of Benin, Cotonou.According to the Supreme Court of Liberia, the delegates at the meeting, which included the Chief Justices of the 12 of the 15 West African States, agreed on mechanisms for improving the enforcement by National Courts of laws that strengthens integration.At the meeting, the Chief Justices also discussed the need for more resources to promote cooperation among national judiciaries, with the goal of streamlining the judicial systems of member states to in turn facilitate intra community enforcement of courts processes, affective integration and decisions.The West African Chief Justices proposed to ensure greater respect for the rule of law in the Economic Community of West African (ECOWAS) member states, as well as to improve judicial services and relations with other arms of government to ensure greater independence for their judiciaries.The conference was addressed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission Vice President, Dr. Toga McIntosh, the Host Chief Justice of Benin and his counterpart from the Ivory Coast, who is also the Chairman of the Counsel of the West African Chief Justices.The High Court Justices who attended the meeting were his honor Francis S. Korkpor, Sr., of Liberia, and his colleagues from Benin, Ivory Coast, Cape –Verde, Togo, Senegal, Nigeria, Niger, Burkina –Faso and Ghana among others.The meeting of the Chief Justices of the economic community of West African states usually involves activities that highlight issues of national justice and how they can be addressed.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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IBEX, FED Train Village Saving Loan Members

first_imgThe USAID-sponsored Investing for Business Expansion  (IBEX) in collaboration with USAID Food and Enterprsie Development (FED) has completed a two-day training for several Village Savings and Loan Associations in Monrovia.The training was held recently at the Crown Hotel in Paynesvillie, outside Monrovia and was jointly facilitated by Food and Enterprise Development (FED) and IBEX.The participants were taught in business management, record keeping, cash-flow, budgeting and financial projections as well as requirements for accessing finance through commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) with emphasis on business registration, writing business plans, effective business management and proper record keeping.The training according to facilitators, was an eye opener for VSLAs to prepare themselves for future financial opportunities to expand and grow.  “The goal of any business is to make profit and expand”, they said.The IBEX  facilitators in separate statements  added that besides collaterals which banks also request for to gurantee loan repayments, financial institutions are more interested in business performance that is shown by the financial statement and track records, including cash-flow, balance sheet and income statement which indicate profitability or loss.“If you have not been in the practice of keeping your business and financial records, begin to do so after here”, one facilitator noted.They encouraged them (VSLAs) to open their accounts and deposit their money in the banks “because no bank or any financial institution will take the risk by lending to strangers”.  In another presentation, facilitators said  VSLA is an integral mechanism to providing much needed capital to value chain stakeholders such as farmers, processors, and traders, who are not traditionally eligible for bank loans as individuals.Farmers can use small loans from their VSLA to hire labor in their communities to help with farming activities and to invest in improved inputs and technology such as seed, fertilizer and irrigation.They challenged VSLA members to use loans to help members invest in value-added ventures such as processing and storage to further improve the competitiveness of their food crops.Established VSLAs with good record keeping systems and history of good financial management can be used as a platform for receiving larger loans as a group from the Central Bank, Micro-Finance Institutions, and traditional banks. To date, the USAID FED program has formed 122 VSLA groups, providing assistance to over 3,000 farmers.In separate remarks, the participants said the training afforded them  the opportunity to acquire more useful  knowledge and learn new skills, and they thanked USAID IBEX and USAID FED for the initiative.The participants were drawn from the leadership of five established VSLAs, including Pulukpeh, MOWEDE, Yarnwellie Agricultural Project, In God’s Hands, Kweigpa, and New Generational Women  in  Montserrado and Margibi Counties.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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