General News of Wednesday, 2 April 2014
International relations expert Dr. Vladmir Antwi Danso has said the president must first fix the problems at home if he would be successful as ECOWAS Chair.
Ghana's President John Mahama took over the ECOWAS chairmanship from Ivorian Leader Alassane Ouattara at the just ended 44th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast Analyzing the impact of the Mahama's election as ECOWAS chair, Dr Antwi Danso told Joy News' Gifty Andoh Appiah, the president’s overall performance is also largely dependent on sub regional cooperation and dedication to the vision he has set for himself.
"I have been very critical of his economic policies, some political issues [and] appointments [at home]. I am an intellectual but president Mahama when it comes to integration he stands tall period,” he added.
President Mahama has already indicated he will focus on Peace and Security, Economic Integration and Development and Infrastructure for the ECOWAS states Dr. Antwi Danso said these can be effectively executed in the sub region if Ghana’s domestic situation is at least stabilized.
"He really needs to fix the home front. If the people of Ghana understand the president and there is peace and security back home, then translating it unto the sub-continent will not be a difficulty…prudent economic policies in such a way that the economy will stabilize”.
He said President Mahama must build on legacies of his predecessors as well as former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan.
"Ghana was able to show how to put the big powers to listen; that was a big plus to Ghana. It was during Rawlings’ era that we were able to form ECOWAS; that was a personal plus to Rawlings..Several people wanted to ran away from the main focus of the AU [but] the stature of Kufour, his demeanor, his diplomatic prowess were brought to bear on the AU… This is the time to continue. President Mahama cannot fail,” he admonished.
He named the security threat presented by Boko Haram in Nigeria, an impending post – coup election in Guinea Bissau and the stability needed in Mali as some of the major issues president Mahama is set to deal with.
Dr. Antwi Danso further suggested that although a year is not enough to achieve major breakthroughs the president must bring his leadership to bear on these and court the cooperation of his colleague leaders.