Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Emmanuel Bombande, has called on the Council of Bureaux of the ECOWAS Brown Card to ensure that Francophone countries accept the Ecowas Brown Card issued by Ghanaian Insurance companies.

Mr. Bombande made this call when he delivered an opening address on behalf of the substantive minister, Hannah Tetteh, at the ongoing 33rd Ordinary Session of the Council of Bureaux of the Scheme in Accra on Tuesday, October 11, 2016, at the M-Plaza Hotel, Accra.

“Our Ministry recently commissioned a working group to prepare a strategic policy document aimed at articulating Ghana’s strategic interest in ECOWAS. 

“One of the thematic areas of the document was the issue of Migration and Free Movement.  In carrying out this task, field studies conducted revealed that ECOWAS Brown Cards issued by Ghanaian insurance companies are not respected in some member francophone countries.  As a result, some motorists are harassed for possessing ECOWAS Brown Cards issued in Ghana when produced as evidence of Motor Vehicle Third Party insurance cover”, he said. 

Deputy Minister noted that because of the non-cooperation of the Francophone countries, a larger number of haulage vehicle drivers or owners have resorted to buying insurance from other countries to avoid the harassment and inconvenience. 

“This is in no doubt against the tenets of the Protocol and gives cause to worry.  I, therefore, call on the Council of Bureaux to address this serious anomaly,” he stressed.

The ECOWAS Brown Card scheme guarantees victims of road accident a prompt and fair compensation for damages caused by a non-resident motorist from an ECOWAS member state visiting their territory.

Francophone countries must be made to respect ECOWAS Brown Card - Bombande

Photo: Mr. Bombande and Mad. Bawa (middle) and other dignitaries pose with delegates

The theme for this year’s General Assembly is “The Relationship between the ECOWAS Commission and its Established Institutions and Agencies: The Case of the ECOWAS Brown Card Insurance Scheme”.

Chairman of Ghana National Bureau of the scheme, Kwame Ofori said the theme  is most appropriate as it provides stakeholders “the opportunity to reflect on the role the Brown Card Scheme has played in regional integration over the years and to seek closer collaboration with our parent body the ECOWAS Commission.”

Chairman of Council of Bureaux, Leopold Keita, explained that in line with the provisions of Protocol A/P1/5/82, the ECOWAS Brown Card Scheme ensures a prompt and fair compensation to victims for losses they sustain from international road traffic accidents.

On the one hand, the scheme serves as a means facilitating free movement of persons, goods and services between member states, and on the other hand, as the responsive par excellence insurance cover against liabilities arising from international accidents within our West African sub-region.

Member countries who are in the country to the 3-day Ordinary Session from 11th – 13th October include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conakry, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

Chairperson of the National Insurance Commission, Madam Joyce Bawah; President of Ghana Insurers Assocation (GIA), Aretha Duku, Board Members of the National Bureaux and Insurance companies from member countries were present at the event.

The event ends on with a closing dinner and investiture ceremony at La Palm Beach Hotel on Thursday at 7pm.