Finance and Development Planning Minister, Boima S. Kamara has officially launched the Second ECOWAS Sensitization and Awareness Campaign under the sponsorships of the ECOWAS Chairperson Coordinating Committee and the Technical Working Group (TWG) in Bo-Waterside, Grand Cape Mount County.
Minister Kamara emphasized the need to fully implement the 4-Pillar Agenda for which President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has made tremendous efforts to consolidate peace, security and good governance; the improvement of economic and financial stability in the community; the conclusion of all of the community’s legal text, including trade agreements and the ratification and domestication of protocols; as well as the transformation of “Vision 2020” with emphasis on institutional reforms in the community.
He indicated that “Since the election of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Chairperson of the Authority of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Dakar, Senegal on June 4, 2016, she has pursued these pillars across the sub-region.”
Meanwhile, the tenure of the President as Chairperson of ECOWAS comes to an end in May 2017.
Minister Kamara disclosed that amid President Sirleaf’s support, the TWG has had a series of legislative engagements and through these engagements, thirty two (32) longstanding ECOWAS Protocols were passed into law and ratified.
“With the passage and ratification of these ECOWAS Protocols, it has become not only necessary but expedient to sensitize the citizenry on the importance of these various instruments,” he maintained.
The program took place in continuation of a similar initiative which commenced in Nimba County a month ago.
Kamara further emphasized the need to inform the general public about the benefits, challenges and prospects of the ECOWAS Protocols, particularly the free movement of persons, goods and services.
“We must continue to lend full support to the successful implementation of ECOWAS Vision 2020 and the issue of free movement within our region remains key in enhancing citizens’ participation in all ECOWAS activities and economic transformation across the region,” he stressed.
Minister Kamara argued that to make the ECOWAS Vision a reality, member states and other regional organizations must now give full support to the domestication and implementation of all legal instruments relative to the free movement of persons, goods and services as well as other protocols.
“An ‘ECOWAS of People’ can only be attainable when there is absolute free movement between Member States. Jointly, it is possible. Let’s go for it!” he added.
He then challenged the TWG to go further in organizing joint meetings and workshops with other ECOWAS national offices, relevant security agencies, civil society organizations and trade facilitators in member states with the view to harmonizing the information to be disseminated to citizens within strategic cross-border towns.
“It is my conviction that when done, this will contribute extensively to the promotion and acceleration of the economic integration process including regional cooperation and making real President Sirleaf’s promise to deliver on the 4-Pillar Agenda during her tenure as Chairperson of ECOWAS Authority,” he said.
The launching ceremony was attended by Ambassador Babatunde Ajisomo, Special Representative of the ECOWAS President in Liberia; ECOWAS parliamentarians in Liberia; Dr. Abdulaye Dukulé, Coordinator of the SDGs; Marjon Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair, ECOWAS Council of Ministers.
ECOWAS’ Vision 2020 seeks to “create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous and cohesive region, built on good governance where people have the capacity to access and harness their enormous resources through the creation of opportunities for sustainable development and environmental preservation.”