The German government has declared its intentions to help its Ghanaian counterpart promote peace and security in West Africa and the Sahel Region.
It has also promised to assist the sub-regional bloc, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) with the technical expertise and logistics to counter-terrorism in all its forms in the face of growing insecurity and instability.
German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz made the pledge when he addressed security personnel at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), in Accra during his two-day visit to the country.
He said terrorism and violent extremism posed a threat to regional cooperation and peace.
He indicated that terrorism in the sub-Region remains complex and challenging.
He, therefore, noted that a highly trained and well-equipped security architecture was necessary in addressing the estimated threats it posed.
The German Chancellor was accompanied by President Akufo-Addo.
Chancellor Scholz’s visit comes in the wake of the increasing insecurity and instability in the sub-region borne out of violent extremism and military interventions.
West Africa recorded more than 1,800 attacks in the first six months of 2023, says the ECOWAS Commission.
Those tragic incidents resulted in nearly 4,600 deaths with dire humanitarian consequences, which according to the Commission, was just “a snippet of the horrendous impact of insecurity”.
It is estimated that about half a million people in the 15-nation ECOWAS are refugees and nearly 6.2 million are internally displaced.
President Akufo-Addo (5th from left), together with Olaf Scholz (4th from left), German Chancellor in a photograph with Dominic Nitiwul (3rd from left), Minister for the Defence, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah (4th from rights), Minister of Information and other security and government officials.
The German Chancellor thus noted that ‘one of the concerning repercussions of the series of coups in the Sahel region is the slowing of cooperation between states in the Sahel and those of the Gulf of Guinea.’
He believes these terrorists exploit any lack of unity and cooperation.
That, he said makes the famous ‘Accra Initiative’ valuable since it fosters cross-border cooperation through intelligence sharing and joint partnership.
On his part, President Nana Akufo-Addo expressed the nation’s appreciation to Germany for the many years of continuous support.
He said this had helped to empower the nation in dealing with the potential threats posed by violent extremism.
It is for this reason he said the nation had resolved to entrench the Rule of Law and democratic accountability to enhance good governance.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu, Presidential Correspondent