ECOWAS begins resilience, security assessment exercise in Ghana

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in partnership with the Ghana National Centre for Coordination of Early Warning and Response Mechanism (NCCRM) have commenced a resilience and human security assessment in Ghana.

The project which is co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is aimed at mapping human security vulnerability and resilience factors within the country.

At a technical scoping workshop in Accra, Colonel William Ohemeng, Director of NCCRM said the meeting was an inception dialogue for the commencement of the country resilience and human security assessment for Ghana.

“The exercise is conducted periodically to research into the human security resilience in the West African countries and this year we are focusing on five thematic areas namely, security and terrorism, environment and natural disasters, crime and criminality, health and pandemics and governance and human rights.” He added.

He said the update assessment, would identify factors that continue to challenge the social and institutional resilience in Ghana, for an informed decision-making and policy direction.

Colonel Ohemeng indicated that Ghana’s peace and security architecture had built some resilience to human security vulnerabilities over the years, saying there were obvious threats and evidences of insecurity in the country.

According to him, the Centre’s data for the first quarter of the year indicated that, violent crimes, road traffic offences, use of illegal drugs and human trafficking were major issues that bordered on Crime and Criminality.

He added that “the governance and human rights thematic area, recorded procedural infractions on rule of law, violations of human rights, issues of unemployment and stagnation, education disruption and exclusion as issues that needed attention. “

The Centre also recorded environmental degradation, climate change resulting in floods and land management disputes for social and environment thematic area.”

Colonel Ohemeng said the security, terrorism and maritime domain of the Centre, recorded pockets of incidences ranging from violent aggression, enforcement, fire outbreaks, road traffic crashes and shooting incidences adding that the health and pandemic thematic area released an alert on the possible outbreak of anthrax following the rains.

“All these indicate that Ghana may be losing its immunity to possible risks, if constant assessment and sustainable measures are not put in place to mitigate human security threats,” he added.

Mr Tunji Olonode, Representative from Early Warning Directorate – ECOWAS, highlighted that the 2024 Country Resilience and Human Security Assessment (CRHSA) was an update of the 2017–2019 Country Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (CRVA), considering new regional human security dynamics and utilizing 2021–2023 ECOWARN data.

He said the update exercise in Ghana seeks to assess the social and institutional resilience factors of identified human security challenges to allow better-informed analytical products and, in turn, guide stronger decision-making, planning, and response by the ECOWAS Commission, the NCCRM, government, and key stakeholders.

“The assessment will focus on the five ECOWAS Early Warning thematic groups: Security, Crime and Criminality, Health, Environment, Governance, and Human Rights, and will leverage data gathered from the ECOWAS Early Warning and Response Network (ECOWARN) and desk studies conducted from 2021 to 2023.”

It also provides the opportunity for the National Centre to create a database of research outputs that will be useful for responding to issues of human security,” he added.

Mr Olonode indicated that “ECOWAS was honored to collaborate with the Early Warning Architecture, the Office for National Coordination Centre for Early Warning and Response in decentralizing early warning and early response through collaborations with the federal government, state, and non-state actors.

“These joint efforts are crucial in providing and coordinating appropriate responses to promote human security in the country.”

He said Ghana had made great strides in political and socio-economic advancement in the last six decades, saying “notwithstanding these successes, the country’s political and socio-economic landscape has witnessed turbulence with the prevalence of pertinent human security challenges ranging from banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, farmer-herder and communal conflicts, and domestic and sexual/gender-based violence, amongst others.”

Source: GNA

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