Press focuses on mid-year statutory meetings of ECOWAS, others

The hosting of the Mid-Year Statutory Meetings of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Accra and Ghana's…

The hosting of the Mid-Year Statutory Meetings of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Accra and Ghana’s election to the United Nations Security Council are some of the leading stories in the Ghanaian press on Tuesday.The Graphic reports that Ghana will, from today, host the Mid-Year Statutory Meetings of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Accra, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has announced.

The meetings will include the 59th ordinary session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government scheduled for June 19.

It will be preceded by the 46th ordinary meeting of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council at the ministerial level and the 86th ordinary session of the ECOWAS council of ministers.

Ms. Ayorkor Botchwey, who made the announcement at a press briefing in Accra yesterday, explained that the meetings were being held following the successful completion of the 29th ordinary session of the Administration and Finance Committee (AFC) of ECOWAS, which was also held in Accra.

The AFC is made up of experts from the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Finance of ECOWAS member states and the outcome of their session, which was held on June 8-12, this year, will inform deliberations at the session of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday and Thursday.

Ms. Botchwey intimated that with the exception of Mali, which has been suspended from the sub-regional grouping, all Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS were expected to participate in the summit.

“It is expected that all Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, with the exception of Mali, will participate in the summit,” she said.

The newspaper says that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has said that Ghana’s election to the United Nations (UN) Security Council will help bring the perspective of Africa on global issues to the fore.

She said Ghana’s representation on the council would help ensure a peaceful and resilient environment for the economic well-being of all West Africans.

Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday to brief the media on Ghana’s election to the UN Security Council on June 11, Ms. Botchwey said in the new role, the country intended to leverage its previous and current experience as the Chair of ECOWAS and active member of the AU to prioritise issues of conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction and the strengthening of partnerships between the UN and regional arrangements in dealing with conflict situations.

“The theme we have chosen for our term: “Enhancing Global Peace and Security for Sustainable and Inclusive Development”, reflects the vision of ECOWAS to ensure a peaceful and resilient environment for the economic well-being of all our peoples,” she said.

At its 75th General Assembly in New York last Friday, the UN elected Ghana, Albania, Brazil, Gabon and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the UN Security Council, which is charged with maintaining international peace and security, for a two-year term, starting from January 1, 2022.

To ensure geographical representation, seats are allocated to regional groups. But even if candidates are running unopposed in their group, they still need to win the support of more than two-thirds of the UN General Assembly.

The Graphic also reports that a 34-Member delegation from Rwanda, comprising government officials and relevant stakeholders in the private sector, is in the country to explore bilateral opportunities in business, tourism and economic development.

The visit is in response to a Ghanaian delegation that toured Rwanda in March this year to promote regional tourism and bilateral trade, in anticipation of greater collaboration under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

As part of the visit, the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), in partnership with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), organised a business breakfast meeting in Accra yesterday to escalate previous efforts at encouraging business-to-business (B2B) linkages and institutional collaboration between the two countries.

The Rwandan High Commissioner to Ghana, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, said at the meeting that the two countries could learn from each other, particularly in the tourism sector.

For instance, she said, three choices that had shaped the development of Rwanda’s tourism industry could be adopted by Ghana, while observations made by the Rwandan delegation would serve as the foundation for further discussions on the sector.

“We have unity of purpose and engagement and will not allow anyone to divide us. It’s our choice to decide to unite or remain divided, but we want to see our people, especially women and children, work together, so we have to learn from each other,” the High Commissioner said.

According to Dr. Kacyira, another important factor that helped in the development of her country’s tourism sector was thinking big, saying: “There are so many opportunities in Africa and we have to think big to realise that.”

The Times says that former President Agyekum Kufuor has attributed the nation’s challenges to rush in developing right after independence in 1957 from the British.

According to him, “this prevented the country from learning some of the rudiments of a developing nation and the country should have acted like a baby, thus, to crawl before running but the country chose the latter.

“Ghana gained its independence in 1957 with a population of six million, but now we are close to 40 million, especially if you add those in the diaspora to those in Ghana and at age 64, our land size has not increased, our natural resources have not increased.

“After our independence in 1957, as a developing country, with all the leadership challenges, we did not take our time to learn how to crawl before walking and running but we immediately jumped into running,” former President Kufuor intimated.

He noted that the economy was not working properly, social mobility, unemployment and all other challenges are because the nation rushed however, it was good for a new nation to have vision to rise but was not planned well.

Former President Kufuor observed that the rush was as a result of hardships being felt today because the nation’s quest to industralise was also not well planned hence depleted the reserves which had affected the economy over the years, adding that “importing foreign cultures, practices and ideologies without understanding why it is being practised on foreign land are all part of the hardships in the country”.

“If Ghanaians want the country to be fixed, then they need to exercise patience, strategise, plan and if politicians try to portray when they come into power, they will be solving all challenges, problems of the citizenry in one day then they must be joking,” he said.

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