The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration says the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is resolute in executing its socio-economic growth goal, despite the gloomy global outlook due to the COVID-19.
These goals include the acceleration of economic reforms and macroeconomic stability towards a single currency, enhancement of cross-border trade, integrated human capacity building as well education and health initiatives.
A statement issued by the ministry to mark this year’s ECOWAS day, said the region was expected to experience a reduction in ﬁnancial resources of between US$36.42 billion and US$63.19 billion due to the pandemic.
“This will result in economic slowdown in member states, with serious consequences especially for the most vulnerable.
“In spite of the gloomy global outlook emanating from this unprecedented health crisis, the regional community remains undaunted in its resolve to work towards achieving the aspirations of its people”, it said.
ECOWAS was established 45 years ago, on May 28, 1975, as a regional body that sought to foster regional cooperation and integration for socio-economic development.
May 28 every year is celebrated as ECOWAS day to strengthen the collective efforts to improve the socio-economic development of the countries in the regional body.
According to the statement, the ECOWAS was making progress in the development of an integrated human capacity strategy to deﬁne how it would support member states in realising their human capacity development objectives.
It said the ministry was working with ECOWAS and selected public and private sector agencies to determine the design and form of ECOWAS support to Ghana’s human capacity development.
It indicated that some progress had also been made in recent years towards regional economic integration in spite of challenges such as the closure of Nigeria’s borders.
“These include the acceleration of economic reforms and stabilisation of the macroeconomic environment towards the achievement of the region’s single currency agenda; the expansion of regional infrastructure to enhance cross-border trade as well as initiatives in the education and health sectors”, it said.
These modest successes, the statement said were, however, under threat by the new global health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic.
The celebration of the 45th anniversary of ECOWAS in these unprecedented times, it said should urge community members to remain steadfast in their commitment to the pursuit of regional integration and development goals.
“ We need to create an ECOWAS Community that is truly of the people and for the people; a regional community where citizens are well informed about the activities of the organisation and are involved in their implementation”, it said.