Ghana’s President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has tasked the ECOWAS Commission’s President, Commissioners and Staff to work build a united, prosperous, politically stable and secured Community that meets the aspirations of her citizens.
According to President Akufo-Addo, who is the ECOWAS Chair, as the regional bloc rounds off its implementation of Vision 2020 and finalise the development of its Vision 2050, “we should strive to make ECOWAS a Community in which our dreams of prosperity, peace, security, integration and development are realised for the well-being of its citizens.”
President Akufo-Addo gave the task on Monday, September 21, 2020, when he paid a working visit to ECOWAS Commission offices in Abuja, capital of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Addressing the Commissioners and staff of the regional bloc, the ECOWAS Chair said “The challenges in the areas of democracy, health, security, economy, trade and currency, must be addressed in a spirit of genuine cooperation and solidarity if we are to overcome them, which I am confident we can.”
President Akufo-Addo believed that collectively, “we can all make ECOWAS the most viable regional bloc in Africa, and realise the vision of transforming ECOWAS from a body of states to a community of peoples.”
He outlined his 5-point Agenda for the chairmanship of the Community, which, he said are, the fight against terrorism; winning the fight against COVID-19; trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); the issue of a monetary union in ECOWAS and the consolidation of democratic governance in the Region.
He also commended the President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E Jean-Claude Kassi Brou and the entire Commission, for the achievements chalked in areas of infrastructure, agriculture and humanitarian assistance.
“In infrastructure, I am aware that the Commission and its specialised agencies are implementing a number of infrastructure projects in the road, rail, maritime, energy and telecommunications sectors,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo was encouraged by the Commission’s efforts at accelerating the implementation of infrastructure projects such as the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project, the Praia-Dakar-Abidjan Corridor Development Programme and the Dakar-Bamako Railway Project.
On telecommunications, he, however, urged the Commission to expeditiously deal with the issue of the high cost associated with roaming services which were hampering effective communication among its peoples.
Touching on agriculture, President Akufo-Addo said the issue of food security is vital to the development of the region, as the twin shocks of terrorism and the COVID-19 pandemic had adversely affected the food security situation in the sub-region.
He was, however, hopeful that together the Community could work quickly to guarantee food security within the framework of the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP).
President Akufo-Addo said the current generation of West Africans are undertaking one of the noblest ventures of human history—engineering the transformation of poor societies into prosperous ones on the basis of democratic values and principles.
“European, American and Asian industrialisation took place at times of limited franchises and authoritarian institutions. Ours is being done with full universal adult suffrage, in open societies. This is the magnitude of our challenge and the nature of our prize. We should all be proud of being frontline actors in this great drama,” the President added.