Ghana Positioned to Benefit from ECOWAS Protocols and Conventions
Ghana in its quest to improving the living standards of citizens has intensified stakeholders’ engagements on the Protocols and Conventions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The idea was to also promote economic cooperation, integration, and foster relations of member states as well as contributing to progress and development of the African Continent which formed primary objectives of the ECOWAS Commission.
The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr. Charles Owiredu, said it was more important for Ghana to position itself in a way to access many benefits within ECOWAS, adding that, “when our President Akuffo-Addo is the Chairman of the Authority of states in government.”
He indicated that the Commission was currently prioritizing to tackle insecurity and terrorism in the region, the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the 2020 decision on monetary union within ECOWAS, the consolidation of democratic governance, and the effect of COVID-19 on the economies of member states.
Speaking at the opening of the ECOWAS sensitization workshop on ECOWAS Protocols in Kumasi, he indicated that the government of Ghana was committed to the regional integration process and the implementation of various protocols and policies to improve the standard of living of Ghanaians.
The workshop was put together by the Ministry in collaboration with the National Development Planning Commission and Media Response, an NGO, with the purpose of improving upon ECOWAS visibility in the country to enable citizens better appreciate its contribution to the socio-economic development of the sub-region.
Mr. Owiredu throwing more light on the significance of the workshop said there needed to be more insights on the relevance and activities of ECOWAS to avoid speculations, assumptions, and even outright lack of knowledge about the sub-regional block
He indicated that the workshop was the second in the series of workshops to be held across the country as a sequel to the ECOWAS national stakeholder consultation workshop for the evaluation of the ECOWAS vision 2020 which were organized with the objective of accessing the achievements and challenges of ECOWAS, particularly under its vision 2020 adopted about a decade ago.
The implementation of the protocols could not be effective without the cooperation of people stemming from the lack of understanding of these protocols, he stressed.
The 15-member states of ECOWAS which were incepted about 45 years ago ad large economic block with about 350 million citizens.
Mr. Owiredu pledged the government’s resolve to support Ghanaians explore opportunities in the sub-region aimed at the country’s agenda to create jobs for the people.
He mentioned that ECOWAS had implemented a range of ambitious measures to intensify and coordinate actions to combat COVID-19.
They included drawing up a post-pandemic recovery plan, strengthening regional cooperation in research and experience sharing on the virus, and encouraging member states to contribute to the continental response fund against COVID-19 in Africa.
The Ashanti Regional Coordinating Director, Mr. Joseph Donkor, stated there was the need to promote regional integration as countries were increasingly becoming inter-dependent, adding that, ECOWAS must be recognized by all member states and its citizens as an important regional grouping.