A – day’s Regional sensitisation workshop on economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on protocols for state and non – state actors has been held on Wednesday at Goaso, the Ahafo Regional capital.

The aim of the workshop was to create awareness on the ECOWAS protocols for state and non – state actors to enable them appreciate the rights, privileges as well as the inherent responsibilities.

It was also to increase the consciousness of key stakeholders on border security and sensitise citizens to demonstrate leadership in curbing the incidence of terrorism.

It was attended by traditional authorities, the clergy, government officials, Journalists, the various local government institutions, staff of the Ahafo Regional Co – ordinating Council (ARCC), driver unions, students and policy implementers among others.

Participants of the workshop were taken through topics including overview of ECOWAS, mandate and functions of the Regional Integration Bureau, protocol on free movement and trans human, role of citizens, and ECOWAS Brown Card Scheme.

The workshop, which was under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in collaboration with Media Response (communications without borders) and Ahafo Regional Co – ordinating Council, would be held across the 16 administrative regions of the country.

Mr George Yaw Boakye, the Ahafo Regional Minister, in his remarks, said the protocols provides a framework that guided cooperation and collaboration among ECOWAS member States, thereby facilitating a shared vision for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

He noted that the ECOWAS protocols serve as a roadmap for fostering diplomatic ties, strengthening political relations, promoting economic integration and outline principles of non – interference, respect for sovereignty, and peaceful conflict resolution.

The Regional Minister stated that non – state actors including businesses, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Non – Governmental Organisations (NGOs), educational institutions and individuals have the capacity to influence positive change within their communities and across borders.

Mr Boakye advocated for a collaboration with agencies of neighbouring countries and regional partners to enhance intelligent – sharing, joint patrols, and coordinated efforts to counteract potential threats in the sub – region.

He emphasised that the protocols when well observed, would enhance regional stability, economic growth and cooperation reiterating that let us remained committed to working together for the wellbeing of Ahafo, Ghana and West Africa.

Ambassador Perpetual Dufu, the Coordinating Director for Multilateral and International Organisations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in her opening remarks said community and border security towards the prevention of terrorism was the best way to go.

She implored residents of the country especially those in border communities to be more vigilante and proactive on persons, goods and services who cress – cross the various borders in order to ensure a peaceful environment.

The Coordinating Director indicated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in partnership with stakeholder institutions in Ghana and neighbouring countries were doing well to ensuring peace and security at the various border communities.

Ambassador Dufu expressed optimism that the ongoing nationwide sensitisation of Ghanaians on ECOWAS protocols would create enough awareness on all forms of security threats in the country especially around border communities.

” the West African sub – region is highly bedevilled with terrorism, coup d’etat and general insecurity. This is to the detriment of our socio – economic development as a country”

“Let us all come on board to protect our borders. Together we can make our country great and strong” she emphasised.

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