Ghana yesterday successfully hosted the extraordinary summit of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).
High on the agenda were measures to deal with the Malian crisis towards the restoration of a constitutional government and political stability in the country.
The fact that the extraordinary session came barely a week after the 57th Ordinary summit held in the Nigerien capital, Niamey shows how the leadership of ECOWAS is committed to resolving the myriad of challenges facing the West Africa sub-region.
We have published on our front page that the West African leaders have asked the military junta to hand over power to a civilian transitional government immediately which we fully endorse.
In fact, the leaders have demonstrated consistency in their decision making since the soldiers overthrew the democratically elected government of that country.
Indeed, they have shown that they can be tough in such matters but the question is if the military defy their decision, what further step are they prepared to take to compel the junta to comply.
This is going to be a big test for them and we expect that they would rise to the occasion by taking the necessary measures for the military to hand over power to a civilian.
Indeed, the mounting challenges facing the West African sub-region are not insurmountable and we believe the leadership of ECOWAS has what it takes to tackle these problems head-on, and to ensure sustainable peace and stability in the sub-region.
The West Africa sub-region is strategically located and endowed with human and natural resources that when fully tapped could leapfrog the region into wealthier and progressively democratic community.
The establishment the Africa Continental Free Trade Area secretariat in Accra, Ghana holds a lot of opportunities and fortunes for the sub-region, in terms of trade and commerce. Indeed, it affords us the opportunity to speed up our integration efforts.
More than ever before, regional peace and security are sine qua non for the rapid socioeconomic development of the region for the improvement of the wellbeing of the citizens of ECOWAS who share common historical heritage.
Besides, one of the challenges that we observe during this era of global COVID-19 pandemic is the issue of unapproved cross-border activities that was a source of the spread of the virus across the sub-region.
This is an area that the health services of the member countries must be encouraged to activate their cross border disease surveillance systems, to check the spread of the global pandemic and to ensure public health and safety.
We have absolute confidence in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to provide proactive leadership, as the Chairman of the ECOWAS at this crucial moment, to tackle the myriad of challenges of the sub-region to create the enabling environment for rapid socio-economic development.
It is our expectation that member countries will be committed to implementing all existing protocols and instruments to bring peace and prosperity to the people.
Again, we urge all the stakeholders in the Malian crises to be committed to the implementation of the road map of agreement to return the country to constitutional rule with the government that reflects the dreams and aspirations of the people.