The Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has bemoaned the lack of political will by Member States towards the integration process in the ECOWAS sub-region.
According to him, had it not been the lack of political will, the subregion could have attained maximum economic growth than its present state.
“In our view, since the ECOWAS integration process started in 1975, we should have made more progress than today. Because of lack of political will, member countries are not opening up to each other. It is about time we opened up to each so that we all enjoy the benefits of economic integration,” he noted.
Dr. Bawumia made this observation when a delegation from the ECOWAS Parliament led by the Speaker, Hon. Moustapha Cisse Lo, paid a courtesy call on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra on Wednesday.
Members on the Delocalized Joint Committees on Education, Science and Technology & Communication and Information Technology of the ECOWAS Parliament are presently in Ghana to brainstorm on the educational systems in the subregion.
The event is under the theme: “Status of harmonization of the educational systems and programs in West Africa with specific reference to the equivalence of degrees, ranks, certificates and other qualifications.”
Dr. Bawumia commenting further said it was because of this challenge (lack of political will) that the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has started talking to his peers in the region to open up to each other to fast-track the integration process.
To live by example, he said Ghana would from September 1, 2017, remove all domestic barriers to promote the free movement of people as well as goods and services between member countries.
Ghana and Togo, he noted, have for instance, started a 24-hour border operations.
Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Hon. Moustapha Cisse Lo, on his part lauded Ghana for playing a key role in the integration process in the subregion.
He was very hopeful that with the level of commitment exhibited by President Akufo-Addo towards the subregion’s integration process, he will further work to ensure that all existing trade barriers are removed.
“We are sure that the President will assist us to achieve our goal,” he noted