In a recent interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr. Bill Godson Ocloo, the Executive Director of the African Centre for Human Security and Emergency Management, has emphasized the pressing need for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to revamp its strategies to ensure the effective functioning of the regional bloc.
Expressing his concerns, Mr. Ocloo underscored the pivotal role of ECOWAS in safeguarding the safety and interests of its member states. He lamented what he perceived as a failure on ECOWAS's part to fulfill its mandate, leading to waning enthusiasm among member nations. He stated, “I think ECOWAS is supposed to prioritize the safety of its member States, but it seems they failed to deliver on their mandate and many members are losing interest in them.”
The recent decision by Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso to withdraw from ECOWAS and form a new bloc has prompted Mr. Ocloo to highlight potential reasons behind such actions. He attributed this breakaway to the escalating suffering of citizens within these countries and ECOWAS's purported inability to shield them from imperialism and jihadist attacks.
Mr. Ocloo urged ECOWAS to initiate a comprehensive restructuring of its approaches to better serve member countries. He emphasized the need to dispel the perception of favoritism towards certain nations at the expense of others. “If nothing is done urgently to address the current situation, we will continue to see more breakaways by many member countries who seem to have no hope in ECOWAS,” he cautioned.
Furthermore, Mr. Ocloo stressed that the welfare, safety, and security of nations should be paramount, calling for a shift away from prevalent issues such as mismanagement and corruption. He appealed to the Heads of State within ECOWAS and relevant organizations to promptly address any impending challenges.
His remarks underscore a growing sentiment within the region regarding the efficacy and relevance of ECOWAS, signaling a critical juncture for the regional bloc to address concerns and chart a course towards enhanced collaboration and security for all member states.