The member countries of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organisation (ALCO) held their 2nd high level meeting of Ministers of Health and Transport. It is this Thursday 07 July 2022 in Cotonou. This meeting aims to review the different actions carried out by the organisation since its creation and to define new strategies to meet the 2030 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
After 2019, ALCO members met again in Cotonou. They are several representatives of the five member countries, namely Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Benin, to take part in the meeting. On behalf of Benin, the Ministers of Health Benjamin Hounkpatin and Infrastructure and Transport Hervé Hêhomey represented the government. A strong delegation of ALCO’s technical and financial partners including WHO, UNAIDS and AFD, also supported the event.
In his speech, the President of ALCO’s Steering Committee, Dr. Gambo Aliyu, recalled the objectives of the meeting. According to him, the participants are called upon to assess the activities of the organisation since its creation. Also, to propose ways of revising ALCO’s initial mandate to the five Heads of State of its member countries. The other major concern is the strengthening of links between the organisation and the ECOWAS Commission in the areas of health, transport, trade, free movement of people and goods.
ALCO, an organisation born in the midst of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organisation was created on 30 April 2002. Its creation comes in the context of the global fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The main vision is to strengthen national efforts to combat the pandemic. But given the vulnerability of mobile populations to HIV and the fight against epidemics, ALCO has become a cross-border response. This is at the request of the five member countries.
What about ALCO’s balance sheet and its prospects?
According to the Executive Secretary of ALCO, Mr. Abdelaziz Fagbémi, the organisation’s areas of intervention are health, trade and transport facilitation and road safety. Thus, in terms of results, ALCO’s contribution has made it possible to reduce HIV prevalence among truckers by 85% and among female sex workers by 70%.
As for the future, they intend to set up an efficient platform for the electronic collection of road accident data with the support of the French Research Institute for Development (IRD). The initiative will rely on forensics to improve the collection of road accident data.
It should be noted that the second high-level meeting of ALCO ministers of health and transport ended with the commitment of each member country to play its part in making the organisation dynamic.