The National Peace Council (NPC) has admonished the citizenry against heightened activities of terrorism and violent extremism coupled with the political instability in neighbouring countries which can spillover into the country to threaten cross-border trade and economic activities.
It said the threats and risks were becoming more pronounced and there was the need to prevent a spillover which could have dire consequences on the progress, growth and development of the nation.
“For instance, in May just around our borders in Togo, there were some attacks, in Burkina Faso, the attacks are quite frequent and if we do not prevent them, it can affect trade, employment and livelihoods of people,” the Council cautioned.
Ali Anankpieng, the Upper East Regional Executive Secretary of the NPC, made the admonition on the sidelines of a three-day training workshop organised for some Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operators at Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District organised by the NPC with funding from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
It formed part of efforts to equip cross-border traders with early warning signs of terrorism and violent extremism and how to engage stakeholders to prevent spillover under a project dubbed, ‘Building Resilience of Youth and Women-led MSEs through innovative and digitalisation for green, inclusive recoveryand equitable manner aimed at reinforcing the sector to flourish.
He observed that apart from the Sahelian Region, which provided huge market opportunities for the country, economic activities involving cross-border trading had significantly boosted the growth of local businesses and improved livelihoods
however, recent political turbulence and activities by terrorists at the country’s borders put security of the country at risk.
“This should compel the government to enforce restrictions that can affect trade along the borders and put pressure on the economy because in July 2022 alone, two terrorists’ attacks were recorded near Ghana’s borders at Mognori in Bawku and Paga and the situation was not only putting fear in residents in border towns but scaring people from transacting business across the border,” Mr Anankpieng cautioned.
Gerard Ataogye, the District Chief Executive for Kassena-Nankana West, lamented that terrorism and violent extremism was eating deep into peaceful, united, stable and loving country and urged all stakeholders to work together to prevent the country from being plunged into instability.