ECOWAS countries urged to embrace digitalisation

 The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Resi­dent Representative in Ghana, Baba Gana Wakil, has urged member states to consider digitalisation in the socio-political and security landscapes.

At the 49th ECOWAS day celebration in Accra yesterday, he said digital tools such as cybersecurity and data analytics in these two areas had become vital components in the fight against terrorism and other transnational crimes.

He commended the pursuit of digitalisation in the economic landscapes in the region, especially by Ghana and underscored the need for governments to extend it to other vital areas.

The Day is celebrated on May 28 every year to mark the establish­ment of the sub-regional bloc in 1975 with the signing of the ECOWAS treaty by heads of state and governments of 15 countries in West Africa, and a mission to promote economic integration.

This year’s celebration, on the theme ‘ECOWAS Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow’, was held at Ghana Communication Technology Uni­versity (GCTU), with a focus on the role of the youth in driving the ECOWAS’ development through technology.

Mr Wakil also stated that the youth were part of the critical intellectual resources needed to close the gap in the efforts to achieve digital transformation in vital sectors of the economies in the region.

“The ECOWAS region is look­ing to the future where the youth population with relevant skills will play a robust role in shaping the future. In the present day and age, it is virtually impossible for any economy to grow and compete favourably without developing crit­ical digital assets and credentials”, he noted.

Furthermore, Mr Wakil said that acquisition of digital tools and technologies such as Agritech , Fintech and host of others was one of fastest way of growing national and regional economy, especially in the small and medium enterprises sector which from the backbone of the economic growth in the region.

Mr Wakil, therefore, charged the youth, whom he described as change makers and future lead­ers to take active interest in the regional organisation and develop ECOWAS digital clubs as part of their extra-curricular activities.

For his part, the GCTU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Emmanuel Ohene-Afoakwa, said the Univer­sity was committed to providing education on ICT and other related areas to help leverage on digitalisa­tion for the growth of the sub-re­gion’s critical sectors.


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