Home News RCCs, MMDAs called to create ECOWAS desk offices to ensure regular communication

RCCs, MMDAs called to create ECOWAS desk offices to ensure regular communication

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Ecowas Map
Ecowas Map

Mr Samuel Dodoo, Executive Director, Media Response, a Non-Governmental Organisation has urged all Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to establish desk offices on Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

These offices, according to the Executive Director, would promote interaction and free flow of information of activities of ECOWAS between the ordinary citizens and ECOWAS at the national and subregional level.

It will also help to address the bottlenecks in the implementation of the subregional protocols and agreements particularly those on free movement of persons, goods, and service to enhance people’s benefits to the opportunities of such protocols, he added.

“On the very regular basis, there is always interaction between ECOWAS office in Accra and the ECOWAS office in Abuja on all issues across all sectors and if this information does not come to the district level it is very worrying.

“But, if we don’t also have the focal person in the district and regional levels, it also becomes difficult for the national office to relay important information to that level,” he added.

Mr Dodoo was addressing participants in Bolgatanga during a regional sensitisation workshop on ECOWAS protocols for state and non-state actors in Upper East Region on the theme “ECOWAS of the people: peace and prosperity for all.”

The day’s initiative was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in partnership with the Media Response and brought together representatives from RCC, Assemblies, heads of departments, security agencies, religious and traditional authorities, market women, youth, teachers, students, civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, business community.

The workshop was to sensitise various stakeholders on the ECOWAS protocols and conventions, operations, activities on free movement of persons and goods and how people could harness opportunities created by such activities for economic development.

It was also to deepen understanding and knowledge of actors to appreciate the significant contributions of ECOWAS in promoting regional peace and security, economic growth, and sustainable development in the subregion.

Mr Dodoo explained that Ghana was the second highest contributor to the operations of ECOWAS and, added apart from the protocols on free movement of persons and goods, there were lots of potentials that the business community and other agencies could be harnessed for development.

He said Ghana had five seats in ECOWAS Parliament and many other Ghanaians were holding significant positions in the subregional body and urged the stakeholders particularly the media and CSOs to hold them accountable to help address challenges to facilitate trade.

Mr Michael Kweku Owusu, Head of Technical/Claims at the Ghana National Bureau/ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme, said due to increased movement of vehicles across member states, there had been several accidents and therefore it was imperative to acquire the ECOWAS brown card to ensure free movement and compensations in case of accident.

He revealed that from January to September 2023, a total of 111 Ghanaian vehicles were involved in accidents in member states while 73 vehicles from member states were also involved in accidents in Ghana.

“This means that we are recording lot more injuries, damages to properties, and even death cases, and for Ghana alone, a total compensation of GH₵1.7 million have been paid to these foreign victims,” he said.

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