Despite resolutions reached at the 60th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS to open the region’s land borders in January 2021, Chairman of the ECOWAS, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo has said the re-opening of Ghana’s land borders will have to wait.
Leaders of West Africa during the meeting in Abuja on Sunday resolved that there should be enhanced coordination, collaboration, and cooperation through border agencies among member states sharing contiguous borders and adopt mutual recognition of PCR test at borders; harmonize the validity period of test results in member states and provide equipment and facilities at all points of entry.
But Addressing Ghana last night, the president of Ghana said the land borders will be opened when it is safe.
“We are monitoring the level of threat of the disease and ongoing vaccinations in our neighbouring countries, and, as soon as we are satisfied that it is safe to do so, the borders will be open.
“Until then, I believe this is not the right time to reopen our land borders, especially as we are determined to prevent the 4th wave, and, as such, they will remain closed until further notice”, he announced on Wednesday night.
He however admitted the hardship that comes with the directive but indicated it was a step in the right direction.
“To my fellow Ghanaians living along the borders of our nation, I know of the difficulties occasioned by the closure of our borders. As you know, the decision to close our borders, which are a source of livelihood for many, was necessary because we wanted to limit the importation of the virus into the country. “
The land borders were closed in March 2020 and have since not been re-opened. Many living along the border resorted to demonstrations to get the government to reopen them but failed.
The closure of land borders ripped West Africa off some 6.7 percent of the GDP corresponding to $50 billion between 2020 and 2021, ECOWAS officials estimated.
Source: opemsuo.com/Hajara Fuseini