REMARKS DELIVERED BY DR OMAR FAROUK IBRAHIM SECRETARY GENERAL OF APPO TO THE 39TH SESSION OF THE APPO COUNCIL OF MINISTERS.

HELD IN NIAMEY, REPUBLIC OF NIGER ON THURSDAY 19TH NOVEMBER 2020

Your Excellency FOUMAKOYE GADO, Senior Minister, Minister of Petroleum of the Republic of Niger and President of the Council of Ministers of APPO,

Excellencies Ministers and Heads of Delegation;

Madam chairperson of the Executive Board,

Distinguished Executive Board Members and Delegates,

Managing Director of AEICORP

Ladies and gentlemen.

Permit me to join the President of APPO in welcoming you all to the 39th Session of the APPO Ministerial Council taking place simultaneously here in Niamey; Republic of Niger; which is the seat of the Presidency of APPO for 2020 as well as across capitals of our Member Countries.

I would also like to express my appreciation and that of the staff of the APPO Secretariat and the various delegations to these Statutory Meetings to HE FOUMAKOYE GADO, the President of APPO and his team for the excellent arrangements made for these meetings and the warm hospitality accorded to us since our arrival in this city.

Your Excellencies; the President of APPO a while ago rightly noted that the year 2020 has been a very challenging year for global economy particularly for the oil and gas dependent economies like our Member Countries: But sometimes it is serious challenges that bring the best in people. When things keep going well for so long, humans come to take for granted the favors that nature has granted them. But shocks as we witnessed in 2020 have the tendency to wake us from our slumber to plan for the unexpected:

To us in APPO, COVID-19 has been a wakeup call. We are determined not to be caught unawares again. We are determined to do all that is necessary to reduce our over dependence on oil export revenue and increase the value addition in our countries and continent.

This is no doubt a herculean task. But we are committed to achieving it with the support of our governing bodies, the Executive Board, and the Ministerial Council.

The year 2020 has been the first year of operations of the Secretariat since the conclusion of the APPO reform. We are still trying to settle down, with three of the four staff members approved by the Executive Board and the Council of Ministers having started work last month in the new Secretariat in Brazzaville. We are still expecting the new Director of Support Services to join us. With the assumption of duty of the Director of Support Services, we will immediately begin the process of implementation of our phased recruitment programme.

We shall focus on developing a new organizational culture and orientation for APPO; one rooted in professionalism; integrity; hard work; efficiency; meritocracy; diligence; honesty; accountability; rationality; inclusiveness; stewardship; dignity; respect for fellow staff and institutional sustainability: These ethos shall henceforth characterize the new APPO we are determined to build, and by implication the development of the Secretariat’s Long Term Strategy, Short Term and Annual Work Programmes.

Your Excellencies, in previous Sessions I have given an update on the implementation of Ministerial Council Resolutions: This time around; to make for more productive use of the time of Your Excellencies, and recognizing that the updates as well as the Secretariat’s Work Programme and budget for 2021 have been thoroughly discussed at the EB Meetings; and the EB made recommendations for the consideration of Your Excellencies; I would seek the kind approval of Mr. President for the chairperson of the Executive Board, Madam Massout Samia; EB Member for Algeria to present the decisions and recommendations of the 6th Meeting of the Executive Board to the Council of Ministries for consideration and approval.

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