June 12, 2023

Alumni of the Community Parliament and former member of Ghana’s delegation, Fredrick Opare-Ansah believes the bloc is still and more relevant than when its founding fathers established it forty-eight years ago.

The West African sub-regional bloc celebrated its forty-eighth (48) anniversary on May 28, 2023 and Mr. Opare-Ansah indicated that when one looks at the global stage and considers those gaining strengthen, be it economically, military wise or whatever, the numbers factor plays critical role.

President ECOWAS Commission

China, United States of America, India are all States with huge populations which is advantageous but the down side is that  in the ECOWAS sub-region, due to freedom of movement and its associated issues crime also moves across the sub-region a little bit more easily because we do not tighten our borders against each other’s citizens.

He also noted that because it is a bloc, when one country is going down it turns to pull the rest of the countries down, and cited the disturbances in Burkina Faso; a situation that compels Ghana to strengthen its border surveillance with that country which comes at a huge cost.

Similarly, when countries do well they pull others up, adding that when Nigeria, the power house in the sub-region eventually gets their acts right economically and security wise, “she is going to bring the rest of the sub-region up as they have by far the biggest population and more that fifty percent of the sub-regional population; they have vast resources too”.

 “So, we are all praying that Nigeria gets its act together, rise up as a giant as it, takes its rightful place, not only in Africa but on the global stage and the intended results would be the whole sub-region rising up with Nigeria”.

Still on the strength of Nigeria in the sub-region, he asserts that it took Nigeria to intervene to quench the fire in some conflicts in the sub-region including the Gambia.

Again, I was in Liberia during the ECOMOG days, and the role played by the Nigerian and Ghanaian military was phenomenal; so it’s clear that on the balance, where as some countries may have brought the sub-region down others are also pushing us up, whiles others have the potential to lift the entire sub-region out of its situation, he emphasised.

Kwaku Sakyi-Danso/Ghanamps.com