Ghana in its quest to improve the living standards of its citizens, has intensified stakeholders’ engagements on the Protocols and Conventions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The aim is to help Ghanaians fully understand and position themselves well to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the protocols and conventions.

Among the ECOWAS protocols and conventions are the promotion of economic cooperation, integration, and fostering of relationships among member states to contribute to the progress and development of the sub-region.

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mr. Charles Owiredu, who stated these, said it was important for Ghana to position itself in a pragmatic way to access the many benefits within the ECOWAS initiative.

He was speaking at the opening of a sensitization workshop on ECOWAS protocols in Kumasi.

It was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the National Development Planning Commission and Media Response, an NGO, as part of efforts to improve upon ECOWAS visibility in the country to enable citizens better appreciate its contribution to the socio-economic development of the sub-region.

Mr Owiredu indicated that the government of Ghana was committed to the regional integration process and the implementation of the various protocols and policies to improve the standards of living of all Ghanaians.

He said the workshop was to help throw more lights on the insights of the relevance and activities of ECOWAS to avoid speculations, assumptions, and even outright lack of knowledge about the sub-regional block

Mr. Owiredu pointed out that the workshop, which was the second in the series of workshops to be held across the country, was a sequel to the ECOWAS national stakeholder consultation workshop for the evaluation of the ECOWAS vision 2020 which were organised to access the achievements and challenges of ECOWAS, particularly under its vision 2020, which was adopted about a decade ago.

The implementation of the protocols could not be effective without the cooperation of people stemming from the lack of understanding of these protocols, he stressed.

Mr. Owiredu pledged the government’s resolve to support Ghanaians to explore opportunities in the sub-region as part of a grand agenda to create jobs for the people.

He said ECOWAS had implemented a wide range of ambitious measures to intensify and coordinate actions to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

They included drawing up a post-pandemic recovery plan, strengthening regional cooperation in research and experience sharing on the virus, and encouraging member states to contribute to the continental response fund against COVID-19 in Africa.

Mr. Joseph Donkor, Ashanti Regional Coordinating Director, said there was the need to promote regional integration as countries were increasingly becoming inter-dependent, adding that ECOWAS must be recognized by all member states and its citizens as an important regional grouping.