Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo, has called on his colleague West African leaders to pay urgent attention to what he termed as a growing threat to maritime security in the subregion.
He made the call in Accra on Saturday, June 19, 2021, in his opening address at the 59th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
According to him, “We must also pay urgent attention to the growing threat to maritime security in our Region. Acts of piracy and maritime destabilization are on the rise in the Gulf of Guinea, thus affecting trade in our Community, and increasing the cost of imported products.”
He added that “We must operationalize the maritime centres we have established in the Region, and agree on the way forward to combat these acts of piracy. We cannot hand over control of the Gulf to pirates.”
The President spoke about growing insecurity in the West African subregion, especially terrorism.
Touching on the ECOWAS reforms agenda and the need to promote economic development in the region, the President of Ghana who is the chair of ECOWAS said “Unfortunately, we are still confronted with serious security challenges with deadly terrorist attacks and kidnappings, not only in the frontline countries, namely Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Niger but also in the coastal countries of our Region, such as Cote d’Ivoire. Recently, the terrorist attack, which resulted in the death of someone hundred and thirty-two (132) civilians, including children, in Burkina Faso, on 5th June, is the latest such outrage. I went, in the name of the Community, to Ouagadougou, on Wednesday, 9th June, to commiserate with President Roch Marc Christian Kabora, and offer our condolences, sympathies, and support to the Government and people of Burkina Faso in their dark hour.”
He added that “these developments should reinforce our collective commitment to pursue and implement, with renewed vigor, the decisions taken at our Extraordinary Summit on Terrorism on 14th September 2019. This concerted effort, which must be a major issue and a priority objective for the Community, is the best way for us to address this security challenge. It is a matter of dignity and sovereignty, which affects all nations in the Region. None of our countries is insulated from the threats of terrorism.”
Speaking on Africa’s Common Position on UN Reform, he said “based on the Ezulwini Consensus, is one matter Ghana is determined to urge on the global agenda. We will work to solicit the backing of countries around the world for this long, overdue reform. We believe it is time to correct the longstanding injustice that the current structure and composition of the UN Security Council represent for the nations of Africa.”