The government of Ghana has expressed concerns over the expanding activities of extremist attacks to the coast of the West African sub-region a situation that poses a threat to the rapid economic growth of the various economies which find themselves in the catchment area.
Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey while delivering her address on behalf of President Akufo-Addo who doubles as Chairperson of ECOWAS at the 2nd Coordinating Council meeting of the AU and the economic community noted that on “the second exogenous shock of terrorism and violent extremism, it is worth noting that it remains a serious challenge for ECOWAS. Between the 1st of January to 16th October 2020, 570 terrorist incidents leading to 2,201 deaths took place in the region, particularly in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria”.
She added that “the terrorist threat also continues to expand towards the coastal states of West Africa, as evidenced by the terrorist attack of 11th of June 2020 perpetrated in the northeast of Côte d’Ivoire.”
The Minister further explained that although ECOWAS heads of states and governments approved a $1billion priority action plan to end terrorism in the region, to date, $100 million have been mobilized since 2019.
Notwithstanding the exogenous shocks, ECOWAS in the view of the foreign minister has pursued its programs and projects with a view to supporting the transformation of the national economies and fostering the creation of a zone of economic freedom, competitiveness, and shared prosperity.
She also reassured the gathering that the ECOWAS Integration and Development Agenda is anchored on Ecuador’s Vision 2020, which is fully in line with the African Union agenda.