The Office of the Central Regional Coordinating Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration have held this year’s Regional ECOWAS Protocols and policies for the youth in Central Region.

In her welcome address, the Central Regional Minister, Hon. Mrs. Justina Marigold Assan stated that the regional sensitization workshop was aimed at updating the youth and other relevant stakeholders on ECOWAS protocols and its policies.

She appreciated the presence of 500 individuals at the workshop which comprises of 6 tertiary institutions, 15 fifteen second cycle institutions, national service personnels, some selected Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as Chiefs from the Oguaa Traditional Area.

Hon. Assan noted that a number of initiatives have been made to curb unemployment such as the National Youth Employment Programme which was launched in Ghana in October 2006.

She added that the National Board for Small Scale industries together with other partners have implemented Youth-focused economic interventions such as Ghana Kaizen, COVID 19 Recovery and Resilience Programme, Ghana Jobs and Skills Project among others.

The Regional Minister reiterated her launching of the Business in a box( BizBox) Project in collaboration with the Ghana Enterprise Agency and the Mastercard Foundation with the aim to unearth the entrepreneurial potential in the youth by providing comprehensive toolkits, learning opportunities and start-up kit support at the University of Cape Coast, stressing that the focus was on the young women and the persons with Disabilities.

She added that since the establishment of Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS), there has been a number of successes in the field of peace, security and development but also some setbacks which there is the need for the Office of the Central Regional Coordinating Council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to organise important workshops that will expose the relevant inner working of the Organisation to benefit the participants.

In an opening remarks by Her Excellency, Mrs. Perpetual Dufu, Ambassador, Coordinating Director of Multilateral and International Organisation, she expressed appreciation to the Regional Minister for her hospitality and exceptional facilities provided to underscore the collective commitment to fostering productive discussions and achieving the desired outcomes.

“At the heart of our gathering lies the imperative to raise awareness about the activities and programs of the Economic Community of West African States a responsibility Central to the mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. As the name suggests, Regional Integration stands as a cornerstone of Ghana’s Foreign policy and remains a testament of our commitment to fostering collaboration and unity within the region,” She stated.

Ambassador Mrs Dufu said, ECOWAS has been steadfast since its inception to Foster economic collaboration ì
among its Member States which aimed to elevate the living standards and propel economic prosperity across diverse geopolitical landscape.

She added that amidst the political instabilities, ECOWAS has not relented but has successfully maintained peace, security and political stability which among them were Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast civil wars which were successfully mediated and resolved.

“Despite the hurdles, we must persevere. Upholding peace, security and economic stability in the region remains paramount. We in Ghana must stand as a pillar of stability, preventing any domino effect of instability. Though shaken, ECOWAS remains a symbol and tool of security with its mechanisms for conflict prevention, mediation and peacekeeping/peace building operations still intact. We have a shared responsibility to ensure that peace and security prevail,” Ambassador Mrs Dufu further appealed.

She informed that ECOWAS had enormous relevance, among them were free movement across borders and expanded market access for trade and investment, democracy and good governance which she noted had fostered political stability and accountability with its Member States.

In her closing remarks, Ambassador Mrs Perpetual Dufu expressed her profound gratitude to the Central Regional Minister and all participants and also added that the discussion driven will be a collective desire to strengthen institutions, enhance protocols and ensure continuous pursuit of total economic integration and the promotion of democracy and good governance principles in the region.

“I am confident that each participant leaves this workshop equipped with a deeper understanding of ECOWAS protocols and policies, particularly those concerning free movement and the rights of residence and establishment as well as the ECOWAS Youth Policy. It is our hope that you use this knowledge to seize opportunities that come with Ghana’s membership in ECOWAS and to contribute to the advancement of our region.” She ended.