Mr Charles Owiredu, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has reaffirmed government’s commitment to the regional integration process of the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS).
He said Ghana would continue to support the implementation at the national level, the various protocols, programmes and policies, which had a bearing on the political, economic, social and infrastructure development of the Community and its citizens as a whole.
Mr Owiredu was speaking at a two-day national consultation workshop for the evaluation of ECOWAS Vision 2020 at Bekwai in the Bekwai Municipality of Ashanti.
The ECOWAS Vision 2020 was adopted by the Regional Body in 2010 with the aim of setting clear directions and goals to significantly raise the standard of living of the West African People through conscious and inclusive programmes for a bright future.
It also sought to create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous and cohesive sub region, established on the principles of democracy, good governance and the rule of law.
The workshop, which was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, was geared towards formulating a post-2020 road map for the sub-region and to assess the achievements of ECOWAS so far under the Vision 2020, adopted a decade ago.
It was attended by stakeholders drawn from academia, the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, security agencies, religious bodies, traditional authorities and the media.
The Deputy Minister said regional integration was the most viable tool to accelerate the socio-economic development of West Africa and the continent at large.
As we forge deeper bonds of integration within the sub-region, it is important to take stock of what our experiences, challenges and achievements have been so far as a country”, he said.
He said it was for that reason that the workshop was organised to solicit views and concerns on the regional integration process and assess its contribution and impact on the daily lives of the people.
Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, said what ECOWAS should be looking at after a decade of implementing the Vision 2020 was a robust human capital freely doing business across the borders.
He said the Region should have achieved good governance, sustainable economic growth and an open and free regional market to improve the living conditions of the people.