ECOWAS launches free movement among West African countries in Accra
ECOWAS has hit it again as it feels that all West African countries should benefit from the organisation. The Economic Community of West African States is a regional economic union of fifteen countries located in West Africa.
The organisation recently launched a migration project that states that all citizens of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) can leave and enter any ECOWAS country and reside in it without any hindrance, Minister for Information, Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has disclosed.
The citizens of the following countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo are now allowed to move intra-regionally among themselves without any form of hindrance.
In addition, Mr Abdul-Hamid explained that the promotion of intra-regional migration for West African countries was part of a political and economic arrangement.
During the launch of the ECOWAS Free Movement and Migration Project in Accra, the Information Minister noted that when it comes to migration issues, the focus of the Ghanaian media largely dwell on its negative consequences. He further urged the media to focus more on positivity of actions saying that they have a crucial role to play in the promotion of safe and secure intra-regional migration.
In addition, he said:
“Giving the magnitude of the challenges of migration, there was the need to create a critical mass of advocates in the media who were willing to provide fair and objective coverage on issues of migration.”
He further encouraged all media personnel and other relevant stakeholders to fully participate in the project in order to acquire the requisite skills and the solid foundation required to enable them to contribute to the promotion of safer migration practices. The media has a vital role to play in making the project a continuous success.
Similarly, Mr Abdul-Hamid appreciated the Ministry of Information for the media response and its collaborating partners for supporting the project and also commended the European Union and the International Organization of Migration for funding the project. He said “without your support, this project will not be successful”
The ECOWAS Free Movement and Migration Project is a one-year project which will target the Greater Accra, Western, Ashanti and Northern Regions to promote free movement and migrant rights in West Africa.
Also, the project’s activities include the organization of training workshops on investigative journalism on free movement and migration, establishment of a network of journalists for migrant rights and the implementation of a public radio campaign on free movement.
The launch of intra-regional migration for West African countries was a success. Business transaction and inter- country relationships will be made easier. This will no doubt enhance economic growth and development of west African states.