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General News of Friday, 2 August 2019


Ghana calls for enhancement of ECOWAS protocols

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, says the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols on the free movement of persons, goods and services should be enhanced.

Speaking at the advocacy and sensitisation campaign of free movement and migration on behalf of the Minister, Deputy Minister, Charles Owiredu said it is expected that ECOWAS protocol relating to free movement of persons, residence and establishment, together with its supplementary protocols as well as issues relating to the ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card would be deepened.

He said Ghana has made it easier for persons and goods to move freely throughout the country with the removal of security checkpoints on highways.

This, he said forms part of reasons the National Identification Authority (NIA) commenced the process of issuing the ECOWAS identity cards in 2018, and has presently issued about 560,000 cards and will operationalise their usage for Ghanaians by March 2020.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS is advocating the enforcement of free movement of persons and goods among member states and as such, the regional body is embarking on series of campaigns with stakeholders.

Addressing a section of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), as part of the advocacy campaign, Deputy Comptroller-General in-charge of Command Post and Operations, Mr Laud Kwesi Affrifah said, a major responsibility lies with security agencies.

He said border management today has changed and that requires the intense enforcement of the Security Government Initiative (SGI) to strike a balance among security agencies to ensure cooperation to facilitate the free movement of persons and goods and services.

He, however, added that persons crossing borders within ECOWAS member states must ensure the necessary requirement of documents and abide by laws among member states to enable them to achieve the purpose.