Workshop on ECOWAS regional integration ends

A two-day capacity building workshop on the role of non-state actors in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional integration process, ended at Abesim near Sunyani on Friday.

Organised by the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) in collaboration with Brong-Ahafo Network of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), (BANGO), the workshop was aimed at implementing a project on non-state actors on issues of regional integration.

The 44 11 women and 33 men participants were selected from Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions.

Dr. Yakubu Zakaria, Programme Director, Mr. Sylvester Wullo Bagooro, Mr. Kojo Asamoah, all of ISODEC, Mr. George Akpetor of Ghana Revenue Authority (Customs Division) and Mr. Abraham Quaye of the Ghana Immigration Service were the resource persons.

Topics treated included: “ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme,” “The Vision 2020 Objectives, Structures and Institutions of ECOWAS”, “Advocacy Skills”, “Action Plan” and “Background of the ECOWAS project”.

Under the Advocacy Plan, Mr. Bagooro educated participants on the correct approach so that they could succeed in their endeavours.

He said advocacy involved a deliberate process of influencing policy decisions on issues affecting life, adding, advocacy had neither formulae nor a time limit in the planning process but move with nine key questions to ensure success.

These he said are purpose, how to advocate, strategy development, build-in-alliance, delivery of the message, need to be clear with intentions, media contact, as well as skills and ability.

Mr. Bagooro explained that to be able to find out about the result of one’s advocacy, there was the need for championing the advocacy “to show justice in one’s doings by way of evaluation. At times it happens to be a difficult task to succumb to justice in its entire entity but it is necessary for one to hold the bull by the horn and come out with the naked fact or truth for the sake of posterity”.

Dr. Zakaria said the ISODEC’s “scoping mission”, started in March this year, would end next June and it was the expectation that the project would be able to establish regional network for civil society organizations in the country.

He said the workshop in Sunyani was the second by ISODEC and its collaborating partners, with the first one held in Bolgatanga, capital of Upper East Region. The third and last one of the month would be held in Accra next week, he added.

Source: GNA

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