BenÂ Agande, Abuja
The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, is to investigate allegations of deliberate sabotage of facilities of Globacom in Ghana which has prompted the telecommunication giant to consider withdrawing from the West African country.
President of ECOWAS Commission, James Victor Gbeho who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday however added that the investigation would be carried out â€˜a little further if any of the partiesâ€™ involved in the dispute resort to the commissionâ€™.
Ambassador Gbeho who spoke during a press conference to commemorate the thirty-fifth anniversary of the commission in AbujaÂ said the commission was working towards economic integration of the various states in the sub region in order to reduce the level of poverty amongst the peoples of the region.
He noted that â€˜because of the debilitating impact of the global financial and economic crisis on the region, we have devised a strategic plan to cope with its aftermath and launched a regional poverty reduction strategy paper containing a variety of measures to combat pervasive poverty in the region.
â€œPart of our strategy also focuses on developing a virile private sector that will serve as the engine of growth for the regionaleconomy. We have therefore sought to provide a conducive environment for the investment in this sector through policy harmonization such as the harmonization of national investment codes and the publication of a booklet titled â€œECOWAS Common Investment Market Visionâ€ to provide reference material on the implementation strategies and guidelines for stakeholdersâ€ he said.
Speaking on the efforts of the commission to engender economic integration, the commission president said efforts are being made to improve the transport sector â€˜through the implementation of Transit Facilitation Programme and Regional Road Transport: Joint Border Post Pilotâ€™ projects adding that the commission was also working on the establishment and take off of the ECOWAS regional Electricity Regulation Authority as well as the operationalisation of the ECOWAS regional centre for the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
â€œWe are also active in other areas such as promoting social dialogue, capacity building in emergency response, rehabilitation of victims of natural disaster in member states, undertaking a study of equivalence of certificates, the creation of centres of excellence in universities in Abuja and Ouagadougou, gender mainstreaming, vocational training for youth to facilitate employment, adoption of sports policy, promotion of culture and creation of an observatory for copyright protectionâ€ the ECOWAS president pointed out.