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General News of Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Source: GNA

Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso sign Pact

Ghana, Togo and Burkina Faso have signed an agreement to foster trans-border relations between them.

A communiqué signed by the heads of delegations from the participating countries, after a three day workshop where they held the fifth trans-border tripartite meeting, encouraged member countries to give priority to issues discussed to realize the goals.

Mr Daniel Syme, the Deputy Upper East Regional Minister of Ghana, Colonel Ousmane Traore of Burkina Faso and Mr Yendoukoa Douti Thimbiandja of Togo, jointly signed the communiqué aimed at promoting peace and trade and enhancing cordial relationship among the three countries.

The communiqué incorporated a framework to reinforce cross-border cooperation, peaceful coexistence and the optimization of development actions and decentralization of the trans-border zones of Ghana, Burkina Faso and Togo.

It said the security, environment, freedom of movement of people and goods and services, would be paramount in governing the three countries.

It stated that social services, including health, education, and agricultural activities would be encouraged, while forced marriages and other social vices would be discouraged among the countries involved.

The communiqué further stressed the need to tackle smuggling of petroleum products and pirating within the sister countries since they were threats to the development of economic activities in these areas.

Mr Syme urged the other member countries to develop strategies to fight cross-border crimes, including armed robbery, ethnic and chieftaincy conflicts, among others, since they were issues that militated against effective development.

He reminded other members of the ECOWAS protocols and appealed to them to comply with it because the protocols were the surest way to keep the member countries in harmony.

Mr Syme said as the sister countries work together, they should remember to ensure safety and protect the free movement of people within their countries, to promote peace and trade.

He called on the youth of Africa to embrace their own cultural values and stop the blind copying of western cultures.

Colonel Ousmane Traore, the Governor of the Central East Region of Burkina Faso, called for a stronger bond between the three countries to encourage other countries to join them.

He urged the three countries to strengthen the bond to build a common state for the West African sub-region.