The Kandifo Institute, a policy think-tank has congratulated President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on his re-election as the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The Institute described the achievement as a testament of ambition and perseverance, saying “your drive and passion are infectious”.
This was in statement signed by Mr Palgrave Boakye-Danquah, the Executive Director of Kandifo Institute and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
“We know you will be able to climb any challenge that comes your way just as you have done along your journey so far”, the statement said.
President Akufo-Addo was first appointed Chair of ECOWAS in September 2020 by the 57th Ordinary Session of the Authority.
On February 3, 2021, He was given the nod to serve another term. Touching on policies of health and infrastructure, the statement urged President Akufo-Addo to ensure that the other heads of state of the member state countries make their citizens strictly adhere to the COVID-19 protocols in order to curb the spread of the virus.
Also, the President should ensure that the COVID-19 tests were slashed to a minimal amount or free for all travellers in the ECOWAS countries.
“Initially, cost for COVID-19 test was $150, but on the January 30, 2021, the ECOWAS slashed the rate capping it at $50. We believe it can be slashed further for all to afford”, it said.
The statement commended President Akufo-Addo for directing all public laboratories in Ghana to undertake free testing for all with the exception of travellers.
“We are hopeful that the vaccines for Coronavirus would be affordable to all member states to protect the health of entire populations”.
On peace and security, the statement admonished the Chair of the ECOWAS to address the root cause and structural factors of conflicts by identifying safety and resilience conditions that reduce deficits in state building, peace building and risks to violence and conflicts.
“We are confident that his President Akufo-Addo would task the heads of the 15 member-states to ensure that there was no repetition of what happened in Nigeria (END SARS)and led to the death of many Nigerians.
“There should be critical investigations into situations that spread violence across the member countries and the perpetrators of such acts should be brought to book to curb such vices”, it said.
The statement said Terrorism risks were high in Benin as attacks of Jihadists increased on the army in Benin.
“In January 2021, more than 2 million people were forced to flee their homes within their own countries’ boarders owing to the violence that is engulfing Africa’s Sahel Region.
100 people were killed in January 2021 in attacks on two villages in Niger and this was one of the deadliest days for a country that was ravaged by Islamist violence”.
The ECOWAS is a regional political and economic union made of 15 West African Countries.
They are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
The mandate of this union is to promote economic integration in all fields of activity of the countries involved. As a trading Union, ECOWAS is also meant to create a single, large trading bloc through economic cooperation. The ECOWAS was formed on May 28, 1975 in Lagos, Nigeria.