A grand durbar of chiefs and people has been held at Aflao in the Volta Region as part of activities marking the 36th anniversary of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS).

The treaty that established the ECOWAS on May 28, 1975 has objectives, including free movement of people and goods, single currency, common market, a unionised Custom and political co-operation within the sub-region.

The durbar was attended by a cross-section of the society, including traditional rulers, traders, students and government officials, as well as representatives from the Republic of Togo.

It was organized by the Foundation for Sustainable Development in Africa, Ghana and sponsored by the European Union.

In his address, Togbui Fiti, the Paramount Chief of Aflao Traditional Area, wondered why the protocol on the free movement of people and goods and single currency among others under the ECOWAS treaty was not operational.

“A borderless, prosperous and cohesive sub-region where people have the capacity to access and harness its enormous resources through the creation of opportunities for sustainable development and environmental preservation has become very imperative,” he said.

Togbui Fiti said because of the lack of political will, weak economies and low intra-community trade, movement within the West African sub-region was now more difficult than it used to be before the establishment of the treaty.

He asked governments within the sub-region to stop behaving as if they were unaware of atrocities being meted out to fellow West Africans who were engaged in legitimate business and rather tackle such problems head-on.

The Chief Executive Officer of Foundation for Sustainable Development in Africa (FSDA), Mr. Fred Alipui, highlighted some of the achievements chalked up such as democratic and constitutional rule, telecommunication and regional stability and security.

Mr. Alipui called for the issuance of a resident’s card to people living along the Ghana-Togo border to make the crossing of the border easy.

Source: Daily Graphic