A 10-member taskforce to draw up modalities and facilitate the establishment of a National Early Warning Centre in Ghana was inaugurated at the Jubilee House, yesterday, by Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia.
The Centre’s role will be to warn Government of threats to human security, propose appropriate action, and coordinate and ensure monitoring of the implementation of response to the warning, as part of a broader effort by member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The ECOWAS Early Warning System aims primarily at guaranteeing human security, and envisages the establishment of a fully integrated and functional early warning system within member states of the ECOWAS.
The system is intended to provide timely reports and analysis for effective responses that will prevent and mitigate violent conflicts, among others, in the sub-region.
Members of the taskforce, drawn from the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration; Defence; Interior; National Security; Health; Finance and Economic Planning; Justice and Attorney General; Gender, Children and Social Protection; and Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, and Chaired by Prof Joe Amoako-Tuffuor, of the Office of the Vice-President, were sworn in by His Lordship Anthony Oppong, Justice of the Appeal Court.
Speaking after the swearing in, the Vice-President urged members of the taskforce to apply themselves diligently to “this very important national assignment.”
“As we all know, an efficient and effective early warning and response mechanism will not only guarantee the needed security for our development, but would help us prevent wanton loss of lives, health crises like the Covid 19, Ebola and the rest, humanitarian disasters, environmental calamities, among others,” Dr Bawumia indicated.
“The establishment of centres across the region is undoubtedly crucial, if member states are going to be able to effectively tackle the numerous challenges that confront them in a coordinated and effective manner.
“With the establishment of national centres, ECOWAS Member States will be able to share information, implement conflict prevention, and manage crises, while protecting human security at national and regional levels,” he added.
The project for the establishment of National Early Warning Centres received the backing of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government during its 45th Ordinary Session held in Accra on 14th July, 2014. The ECOWAS Commission established National Centres for the Coordination of the Response Mechanism (NCCRM) in five pilot countries (Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali and Liberia) between 2015-2019.
The next phase of the project focuses on the deployment of the Mechanism in Ghana, Benin, Senegal, Niger and Cape Verde.
The Ghana Centre, to be supported with logistics and fully equipped by the ECOWAS Commission, is expected to be launched in July, 2020.