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General News of Friday, 26 May 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Akufo-Addo’s travels will promote regional integration – Dr Yao Gebe

An International Relation Lecturer, Dr Yao Gebe has commended President Nana Addo for his recent travels to some West African countries, saying the move will foster a good relationship between Ghana and its neighbouring countries and also ensure regional integration in the sub-region.

President Nana Addo has visited many countries in the sub-region, since he took over the helm of affairs.

In the past few months, he has paid working visits to Sierra Leone, Togo, Liberia, Mali and very recently Liberia and Mali where he is expected to hold bilateral talks with the two leaders of those countries.

Some have argued that these travels are unnecessary because they have not yielded positive results for Ghana.

But speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Mr. Gebe took a different position, saying “the President should be commended for this particular venture.”

Mr. Gebe believes the path towards regional integration among African countries begins from a demonstration on the part of African leaders to foster a strong fellowship with neighbouring countries, which the President is clearly demonstrating.

“All along we have been talking about regional integration… and undoubtedly a whole lot has not been achieved as a result of our leaders’ failure to forge that fellowship among themselves … I think that this is the way to probably start and forge a good relationship among our neighbours. If you are talking about economic integration, political integration, growth and development of the sub-region I don’t think it should remain at the level of rhetoric but practically there should be a demonstration on the part of our leaders and President Akufo Addo has shown the will.”

Mr. Gebe recalled that since former President Kufuor toed a similar path when he was in power, it will not be out of place for the current President to stick to such a custom.

Meanwhile African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Analyst, Emmanuel Bensah has dismissed suggestions that the President is undertaking these travels in the sub-region because he wants the ECOWAS Chair position.

“I have not quite yet understood why he is doing this but one thing I need to rule out is that I really don’t think it is because he wants to become ECOWAS Chair.There are smarter ways of becoming ECOWAS Chair than doing a tour of West African countries and besides Liberia is probably likely to get it because of what they did in Gambia and even if doesn’t get it, the next term will be for Francophone so I really don’t think it is because of that position.