A National Steering Committee (NSC), aimed at monitoring mechanism for free movement of inter-state passenger vehicles, persons and goods within the countries of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has been launched in Accra.
The committee will be responsible for bringing together key stakeholders of the mechanism in Ghana to establish a constitutive process that will operationalise the mechanism at the national level.
The launch was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in collaboration with the Free Movement and Migration in West Africa (FMM), Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and ECOWAS Commission.
In a keynote address, deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr. Charles Owiredu, noted that the formation of the NSC has become necessary in view of the challenges countries in ECOWAS have encountered in an attempt to intervene and respond to movement of inter-state passenger vehicles, persons and goods without a committee.
He indicated government of Ghana’s commitment to the implementation of the protocol on free movement of persons and right of establishment.
Mr. Owiredu also expressed government’s commitment to implementing the protocol on community citizenship, which is aimed at creating a single ECOWAS regional community devoid of obstacles and impediments to the free movement of persons and goods, services and capital.
He said that the launch of the steering committee therefore completes the circle of committee in the eight pilot countries to support the operation of the regional mechanism based in Abidjan.
Mr. Owiredu thus acknowledged the efforts of the seven other pilot countries which have successfully launched their national steering committees.
“It is our expectation that their national steering committee, which would be the entry responsible for overseeing activities related to the regional mechanism, would pave way for enhanced intra-regional interactions, particularly at the regional level, to facilitate movement of persons along the Lagos-Abidjan corridors,” he said.
This, he said, will complement arrangements put in place by the government of Ghana to secure the country’s international road corridors and further ensure the free flow of goods and service across their borders.
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