An official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has appealed to public office holders to protect the interest of Ghanaians and Ghana within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Dr Kodzo Alabo, Director, Africa and Regional Integration Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Integration, made the call at a workshop on West Africa Regional Integration for a cross-section of Heads of Public Sector institutions in Ho on Tuesday.
The workshop under the theme, “Enhancing Public Sector Participation in ECOWAS integration” was attended by representatives of public sector media institutions, Ghana Immigration Service, national security, Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council, Ghana Private Road Transport Union, Market Women, Fire Service and Prisons.
It was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in collaboration with Media Response, a non-governmental organization which focuses on ECOWAS.
Dr Alabo who spoke on the “Functions of the ECOWAS National Unit (Ghana),” said public officials should facilitate the regional integration processes without compromising the interests of Ghana and its citizenry.
Dr Alabo said Ghana needed to petition the appropriate ECOWAS Commission over the prohibition of some Ghanaian goods from entering the Nigerian market just as that country did when Ghana sought to enforce the prohibition of foreigners from the retail sector of the country.
Dr Alabo urged public officials to use the media to inform the public about ECOWAS and their experiences in implementing its protocols.
He also urged journalists to specialise in ECOWAS issues so as to better inform the citizenry on its aims and objectives, institutions and the progress it was making in integration the sub-region.
He said much progress has been made in the integration process with the establishment of appropriate institutions even though some challenges needed to be overcome.
Dr Alabo said the collective effort of the ECOWAS citizenry was needed to Vision 2020 which seeks to promote a borderless region and to firmly establish ECOWAS of Citizens rather than of States. GNA