BO-Waterside, Grand Cape Mount County – Finance and Development Planning Minister, Hon. Boima S. Kamara has officially launched the Second ECOWAS Sensitization and Awareness Campaign under the sponsorships of the ECOWAS Chairperson Coordinating Committee (ECCC) and the Technical Working Group (TWG).
Speaking at the Second Open event of the ECOWAS Sensitization and Awareness Campaign in BO-Waterside at the Alexander Kettor Hall, he elicited that the tenure of the President as Chairperson of ECOWAS comes to an end in May 2017, there is a need for us to fully implement the 4-Pillar Agenda which madam President has made a tremendous effort for the full realization of these four pillars.
‘’ the president has provided support to the Technical Working Group (TWG) in implementation of her agenda he added.’’
According to the Financial Boss, 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, Liberia’s illustrious leader presented a 4-Pillar Priority Agenda in her acceptance speech including: The consolidation of Peace, Security and Good Governance; The improvement of Economic and Financial Stability in the Community; The conclusion of all community 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.
During the event he lauded that with her support as President, the Technical Working Group (TWG) has had a series of legislative engagements and through these engagement; 32 longstanding ECOWAS Protocols were passed into law and ratified.
‘’ with the passage of the ratification of these ECOWAS Protocols it has become not only necessary but expedient to sensitizes the citizenry on the importance of these various instruments.’’ It is also with this context that the technical working group began the sensitization and Awareness Program in BO-waterside Grand Cape Mount today as a continuation that started in Nimba County.
Today as the Sensitization and Awareness Campaign is launches in BO-Waterside it is importing to increase awareness across Liberia, particularly at strategic points linking Liberia to key border towns in Guinea, Cote d’ Ivoire and Sierra Leone cannot be overemphasized especially given their strategic locations.
‘’ we are in BO-Waterside, Grand Camp Mount County because this community strategically links Liberia to Sierra Leone. ‘’ Says Finance Minister.
The Financial expert emphasis that the primary reason for this Sensitization and Awareness program is to create the Awareness about the benefits, challenges and prospects of these various ECOWAS Protocols.
According to him several issues have been identified for discussion, particularly the free movement of persons, goods and services, under the concept of promoting the ‘’ ECOWAS of People Agenda.’’ We much continuous to lend full support to the successful implementation of ECOWAS VISION 2020 and the issues of free movement within our region remain key in enhancing citizens’ participation in all ECOWAS activities as well as ensuring the increase visibility of ECOWAS programs.
He said, ECOWAS Vision 2020 is built on five thematic principles with this vision Statement: “To create a borderless, peaceful, prosperous and cohesive region, built on good governance and where people have the capacity to access and harness their enormous resources through the creation of opportunities for sustainable development and environmental preservation”.
The five thematic principles of the ECOWAS Vision 2020 include - Regional Resource Development, Peace and Security, Governance, and Private Sector. Each of these five thematic principles is defined as follows:
Regional Resource Development: it is envisioned under this principle that an inclusive society achieved through human capital development and empowerment, offering a peaceful and healthy environment where women, children, and youths thrive and have equal opportunities to excel and have equitable access to resources for human and social development;
Peace and Security: proposes a secure and socially cohesive West Africa devoid of conflicts, whose leaders and people place high premium on peace and collective regional security, effective operation of an ECOWAS regional defense and security system that will effectively combat illegal arms and drugs. There will be conscious and sustained collective effort to eliminate social discrimination or exclusion and there will be demonstrable strong drive to inculcate acceptance of socio-cultural diversities of the region as a positive factor that enriches life in the region.
Governance: Indicates a unified region that is integrated into the continental and global economic space and governed using the principles of good political and economic governance, transparency and accountability in the use of public resources and where fundamental human rights are practiced and respected.
Economic and Monetary Integration: This principle suggests a single unified regional market with common currency supported by an integrated and efficient financial market and payment system; and ECWAS of people where trade and commerce are conducted effectively and with ease.
Private Sector: provides an ECOWAS of people with a conducive policy environment in which the private sector will be the primary engine of growth and development, an integrated regional production base developed by competitive private sector activities which provide production and distribution levers for deeper regional integration and development, supported by an efficient ECOWAS business body that provides strong public-private partnerships for generating wealth to sustain the development and prosperity of the region.
Minister Kamara argued that in order 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,” Hon. Kamara voiced.
He challenged the Technical Working Group to go further in organizing Joint Meetings and Workshops with other sisterly 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 in particular, making real, Her Excellency Madam President’s promise to deliver on the 4-Pillar Agenda during her tenure as Chairperson of ECOWAS Authority,” he concluded.
The launched of the Sensitization and Awareness Campaign was attended by His Excellency, Ambassador Barbatunde Ajisomo special Rep. of the ECOWAS President in Liberia, ECOWAS, ECOWAS parliamentarian in Liberia-Dr. Abdulaye Dukuly, Coordinator of the SDG and ECOWAS- Office of the President of Liberia- Hon. Marjon Kamara, Minister of Foreign Affair & ECOWAS Chair of the ECOWAS of Ministers, Members of the Grand cape Mount County legislative Caucus, Superintendent, Grand Cape Mount County, Leadership, Chief and Elders of BO Waterside grace the occasion.