The Co-Prosperity Alliance Zone (COPAZ), the four-nation regional body aimed at fast-tracking the socio-economic development of member states, on Thursday said the lack of structures was hindering the growth of the organisation.
COPAZ said the lack of structures was inimical to the Alliance’s aim of strengthening economic progress across the sub-region, urging member countries to urgently assist the organisation set up the requisite infrastructure for the advancement of the objectives of the body.
COPAZ, comprising Ghana, Nigeria, Benin and Togo, was established in 2007 in Benin to enhance trade ties among member countries.
“We seriously need to set up our Secretariat to create the conducive atmosphere for us to work satisfactorily towards the realisation of the ideals of this noble organisation”, said COPAZ Executive Secretary Dr Prince Fatai Adeyemi, when executives of the body called at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in Accra.
The call was to brief the Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Chris Kpodo, on the activities of COPAZ and to introduce the executive officers of the group to the Minister.
Dr Adeyemi briefed the Deputy Minister on the workings of the organisation and the recent events it had held, including a peace and security summit in 2010, and a summit it plans to hold in the last quarter of the year in Cotonou, Benin.
He said the body was working to ensure that the zone was the safest in the sub-region devoid of conflicts, and that the people in that bloc have access to potable water.
He said COPAZ was also working on measures including the institution of the English and French languages in the educational curricula of member states to address the language barrier militating against the speedy development of those countries.
Dr Adeyimi appealed to Ghana to support all activities of the group, and to participate effectively in the growth process of the organisation.
Mr Kpodo urged the group to pursue vigorously the promise made by Nigeria to fund the setting up of the Secretariat of the organisation and work to strengthen the structures of the group to accelerate the process of regional integration.
He reiterated government’s commitment to support the body to achieve its objectives.