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Ghana’s Foreign Minister Lays Out Plan For West African Collaboration on Threat Intelligence

Early warning systems, including maritime coordination centres, have been set up to pick intelligence on potential security threats to the country.

Measures are also being put in place to establish an Accra initiative for coastal states and communities, where the leadership of the security services will meet periodically to review the security situation in coastal areas.

They will also share intelligence to prevent security threats, particularly among Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that share common borders.

Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said the systems were in line with measures adopted by member states of ECOWAS in the wake of rising security threats.

She explained that while the early warning centres would pick up signals relating to political instability, terrorism and violent extremism in the sub-region, the maritime centres were part of a regional framework to counter illegal activities such as piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea.

She further said Ghana had a strong interest in the stability and security of the African continent, including its neighbours.

“The insecurities we see or experience — whether due to attacks or murder of thousands of people in communities across the Sahel, including ECOWAS member states — are worrisome,” she said.

The minister also expressed concern over the inflow of weapons, including small arms that usually accompanied migrants and terrorists, into some countries in the sub-region.

She said those security threats had a negative impact in the development of the country, including “our Ghana Beyond Aid agenda”.

“We cannot realise the benefits of free trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) if terrorism, insecurity and political upheavals disrupt trade and the industrialisation agenda that should support increased trade and employment in our countries,” Ms Botchwey added.

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