Mr Leslie Christian, Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, on Thursday urged Ghanaians to take interest and participate fully in the integrative arrangements of ECOWAS protocols and agenda, so as to ensure their success.
The Chief Director pointed out that integration was about people, interaction, trade, institutions, building a community of people, and also creating common markets and free movement of factors of production, and therefore the need for all socio-economic partners to get involved for development.
Mr Christian made the call in an address read on his behalf by Mr Bonaventure Adjavor, Deputy Director of the Africa and Regional Integration Bureau (ARIB) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional integration (MFA&RI) in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, during a public sensitization seminar.
It was to brief and deepen understanding for public sector participation in the ECOWAS protocols and ways to enhance Regional Integration.
Mr Christian noted that regional Integration was a tool for overcoming constraints imposed by nature and size of individual national markets, and indicated that member-ministers of Integration in the West African sub-region were committed to forging ahead with the processes through pragmatic policies and programmes .
He said stakeholders were committed to the implementation of key community protocols, decisions and programmes, to pave the way for accelerated growth and to allow benefits of the integration process to be felt by ordinary ECOWAS citizens.
He highlighted the objectives of ECOWAS, saying it was meant to promote cooperation and integration, leading to the establishment of an economic union in order to raise the living standards of its people, maintain and enhance economic stability, foster relations among member states, and to contribute to the progress and development of the African Continent.
Mr Daniel Syme, Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, said Regional integration was a dynamic and visible process which society engaged in to advance development, and a successful one could encourage respect, promote diversity and foster peace and economic development.
He urged participants to serve as trainers in their various institutions, and to help increase awareness among other members of the public and deepen understanding of the process.
Mr Peter Nongtuo of the Ghana Immigration Service, made a presentation on “Free movement of persons and goods and services in enhancing the ECOWAS vision of community of peoples”.
Mr Seidu Yakubu, Chief Revenue Officer and Deputy Manager, Customs Technical Services, also presented a lecture on “ECOWAS trade liberalization scheme; its impact in promoting Ghana’s export in the sub region, the role of customs administration.
ACP Peter Tabiri of the Ghana Police Service, also digressed on the ECOWAS Protocols on free movement of persons, goods and services and its security implications in the current waves of transnational crimes.
The seminar attracted security agencies from the Ghana Revenue Authority, Customs Division, Border Operatives, Ghana Police Service. Immigration, MOFA , the Media, and the general public.
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