Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Honourable Hanna S. TETTEH, MP, arrived on Wednesday 10th September, 2014, in Paris, France, for an official visit at the invitation of her counterpart, Mr. Laurent FABIUS. A dinner was hosted in her honour by Her Excellency Ambassador Johanna SVANIKIER, the Ambassador of Ghana to France and Mr. Thomas SVANIKIER for ECOWAS Ambassadors to France and ECOWAS Permanent Delegates to UNESCO, as well as Officials of the French Foreign Ministry and the Ghana Mission in Paris on Thursday, 11th September, 2014.
The Honourable Minister in an address to the gathering indicated that ECOWAS has become one of the most dynamic institutions in Africa and has succeeded in moving the integration agenda faster than other regions in spite of the differences in language, legal and administrative systems. She underscored the economic opportunities that exist in the West African Region and encouraged other ECOWAS members to follow Ghana’s example as one of the most reliable financial contributors to the Organization.
The Honourable Hanna TETTEH discussed the outbreak of the Ebola disease, which she described as the greatest challenge for the sub-region this year.
She described the safety mechanisms that Ghana has put in place for screening to avoid the spread of the disease and explained to the gathering that Ghana has become the Logistics Coordination Centre for Ebola response in the West African Region.
The Honourable Minister informed her audience, that ECOWAS was the first African Integrated Region to endorse the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA, with the European Union. She expressed her conviction that the agreement represents a fair and mutually profitable platform for trade between ECOWAS and the EU adding that the details of the EPA had been very carefully considered in order to ensure that developing countries suffer no disadvantage in its implementation.
The Minister expressed the need for free, fair and transparent elections in the five ECOWAS Nations, which will go to the polls in 2015, namely, Nigeria, Togo, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea Conakry.
She advised that, in order to overcome security challenges, the region should be more effective in sharing information as well as deepen the integration of its systems. She highlighted the need for ECOWAS countries to learn and speak each other’s languages in order to strengthen and promote regional cooperation.