ABUJA, Nigeria – A member of Liberia’s delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament has challenged member countries of the ECOWAS Region to muster the courage to take decisive decisions or stand the risk of losing its essence.
Representative Massaquoi while taking a position on a report submitted by the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. Jean Claude Kassi Brou, the Liberian Parliament Member (PM) reminded ECOWAS of many failed promises it has made and its low interest shown in security issues affecting member countries.
He named the ECOWAS failure to achieve its single currency goal that was marked under its vision 2020 and frowned on them for abandoning that vision. He also cautioned the ECOWAS Commission to see the need to commission telecommunication companies to lessen the burden on cross-border traders who are challenged with high costs of communication while roaming.
“ECOWAS needs to muster the courage to do what they say they will do or ECOWAS will almost be non-existence,” said.
Rep. Massaquoi believes the ECOWAS region is in a very tight squeeze in terms of its economy, issues of security, and gender. He said the illegal takeover of power in the sub-region through coups has led to the reduction of PM at the ECOWAS parliament because of the ECOWAS failure to intervene in preventing coupes and unconstitutional takeover of powers in the region.
Like Rep. Massaquoi, Senator Steve Zargo of Lofa County stressed the need for the establishment of a regional security institution in West Africa which he believes will harmonize training of security amongst members countries.
For his part, Senator Johnathan Kaipay was concerned about programs for youth empowerment in member countries because, according to him, if youths are the future leaders there’s a need to have a regional planned program to empower them.
In a report submitted by Dr. Brou, of the 15 member countries of ECOWAS, two have signed the 2011 Convention 189 on Rights of Domestic Workers while the 2019 Convention 190 on Violence and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace is yet to be ratified by the 15 Member States
On the issues of drug prevention and control, he said, the ECOWAS has sponsored the formation of the West Africa Network of Addiction Treatment Experts to engage drug treatment professionals and improve service delivery to people with drug use disorders.
On the Project to support the Protection of Children victims of Human Rights Violations (PAPEV):
ECOWAS says, the adoption of a declaration calling on Member States to create a safe and just environment for children victims of human rights violations as well as address their legal, judicial and social needs (May 2022).
ECOWAS single currency adoption
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has adopted a new road map to launch its single currency in 2027.
Dr Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, President of the ECOWAS Commission, told a press conference that the new road map was agreed by the heads of state of ECOWAS at the 59th ordinary summit in Accra on Saturday.
“Due to the shock of the pandemic, the heads of state had decided to suspend the implementation of the convergence pact in 2020-2021,” Dr Brou said.
“We have a new road map and a new convergence pact that will cover the period between 2022 and 2026, and 2027 being the launch of the Eco,” he said.
Dr Brou said the heads of state had asked the ministerial committee to look at the new roadmap and the convergence pact, taking into account the lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic.