Germany pledges continuous support for ECOWAS

ECOWASThe Federal Republic of Germany has pledged continuous support for the various programmes and projects of ECOWAS, towards attaining the integration goals of the West African region.

According to a statement issued by the ECOWAS Commission, and made available to the Ghana News Agency, Mr Joachim Guack, the President of Germany, gave the assurance during a working visit to the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, on Wednesday.

The visit was meant to strengthen German –ECOWAS cooperation in uniting West African people and helping the states in the region to attain greater peace and stability.

It was also to reaffirm the place of democracy, human rights and good governance within the context of emerging global realities.

President Gauck said it was important to continue to strive together to enable the citizens of West Africa live to live in peace, security, prosperity and dignity in recognition of the fact that one nation could not solely solve trans-border problems.

The experiences of the past years, he noted, had taught leaders and the led that they must defend our common values and principles again and again, he explained.

“It is only by working together that we can build a West Africa ‘house’ strong enough to withstand the storms in the future,” said.

“The people in your countries are counting on you,” he said. “Germany and Europe will continue to accompany you on your path.

“In the spirit of respect for your own solutions, we will stand by your side as a partner…Germans and Europeans will stand by your side in all areas where you assume responsibility for your countries’ development and where you demonstrate the will to uphold democracy, the rule of law and human rights,” President Gauck stated.

President Gauck said despite the difficulties in Europe, many were realising that nations could play greater roles on the global scene if they acted together.

This, he said, was one of the main reasons why Germany wanted to make greater contributions toward the attainment of security and stability.

He commended ECOWAS’ role over the years, for instance in bringing stability and restoring democracy to a number of states, the establishment of community institutions, and trade harmonisation,

President Gauck, however , called for the intensification of the dialogue on immigrating, saying  regardless of the positive impact it could  make on economies, migration to Europe would not solve Africa’s problems.

President Gauck addressed the broad spectrum audience after an initial holding room discussion that involved his close entourage where the scope of cooperation between the European giant and the regional block was highlighted.

The President of the ECOWAS Commission,  Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo, expressed appreciation for the support continuously flowing from Berlin.

He told their guest that more and more people in West Africa were resorting to seeking justice in the Community Court because they had confidence in its independence.

ECOWAS Commission president Kadre Desire Ouedraogo requested a one minute silence in honour of the February 9, 2016 train crash near Bad Aibling in the German state of Bavaria.

He listed some of the main achievements and significant progress of ECOWAS within the last forty years  to include the promotion of peace, good governance and democracy, with the adoption of relevant protocols and tools on conflict prevention, management and resolution, the consolidation of regional market with the adoption of ECOWAS Common External Tariff, Free Movement of Goods and Persons as well as the abolition of visa for all ECOWAS citizen as well as the recent adoption of ECOWAS biometric card among others.

He however acknowledged that the region still face some challenges, most of them also highlighted by Mr. Gauck bordering on human security and development, migrations, climate change, health system. He stated that ECOWAS is working hard to address all these challenges for the deepening regional integration process.

President Gauck’s visit is the second high level event since that of Chancellor Angela Merkel to ECOWAS, in 2011.

Source: GNA

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