Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, Minister of Foreign
Affairs and Regional Integration, on Friday announced that President John
Evans Atta Mills has decided to make regional integration the flagship of
its foreign policy.
He said the government intended to fast track the country's approach
to integration to ensure that the foreign policy and the integration process benefited the people directly.
Alhaji Mumuni was speaking at a training workshop in Accra dubbed: “Call
for Proposals, Non-State Actors' (NSA) Participation in the Regional Integration Process” in Accra.
The Call for Proposals is an ECOWAS regional integration programme being funded by the European Union (EU) to help build the capacities of NSA on EU funding procedures to enhance their chances of accessing EU grants for their activities.
The Minister said government also fully supported the new ECOWAS vision of moving the regional integration body to an ECOWAS of people in which the community's citizens moved about freely and across the borders, transacted legitimate business without hindrance and benefited from a regime of rule of law, peace and stability.
Alhaji Mumuni said for the country to achieve this in a sustainable manner, one of the key strategies was to forge strong public/private partnership.
He said the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) was about creating internal partnerships among public, private and civil society organisations before moving into external partnerships with development partners to complement the local effort.
Alhaji Mumuni commended the ECOWAS Commission and other institutions for working to concretise the new ECOWAS vision by taking steps to engage non-state actors in the integration process.
“It is my hope that at the end of this workshop, participants would have adequately understood the procedures to follow in responding to the call for project proposal in order to help advance our regional integration agenda and help eliminate poverty.”
Mr. Enobong Umoessien from the ECOWAS Commission said the workshop would help build the capacities of participants to be able to access funds from both local and foreign sources to carry out their activities.
He said NSAs were capable of playing key roles in the integration process due to their ability to build synergies with similar grassroots organizations and their flexibility to adapt to changing situations.