The Vice-President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Friday cut the tape to officially open the National Centre for Coordination of Early Warning and Response Mechanism.
The Centre is aimed at detecting, monitoring and analysing conflict indicators and produce monthly, quarterly and annual reports to help the government take appropriate decision to mitigate crisis and conflict situations in the country.
The five thematic areas of the Centre will focus on addressing; Crime and criminality, governance and human rights, health and pandemics, social, economic and environment issues, as well as security, terrorism and maritime threats.
Vice President Bawumia, who inaugurated the office complex of the Centre at Cantonment in Accra, said a 10-member taskforce was unveiled in May 2020 to draw up modalities and facilitate the establishment of the Centre.
The Centre is established by an Act of Parliament known as the National Centre for Coordination of Early Warning and Response Mechanism, 2021, (Act 1070) passed in August and subsequently signed by the President on September 10, 2021.
“We are confident that through the needed directions and other support and the Ghana Centre would be well positioned as a national strategic centre of excellence that shall inform decision-making to respond to crisis in Ghana and West Africa,” Dr Bawumia added.
He believed the Centre would provide an early warning to the Government on threats to human security and propose appropriate actions to ensure the implementation of swift response at both the national and regional level.
That, he said, would ensure the prevention and mitigation of potential adverse effects of threats and crises with the required robust response system.
“Not too long ago, threats of terrorism would have been considered remote. All too quickly, the sub-region is being threatened by terrorism and violent extremism.
“What started in parts of West Africa and the Sahel areas over two decades ago as insurgency, has developed into terrorism and the situation has allowed for the growth of extremism and other related criminal activities.
“The combined adverse effects of these criminal activities together with several other social, economic and political challenges continue to heighten the vulnerabilities and insecurities across borders in the Sub-Region,” Dr Bawumia observed.
He said, apart from internal security challenges, the sub-region faced threats of the spread of extremism, terrorism, political upheavals, transnational organised crimes, climate change, diseases and pandemics and called for collaborative efforts to tackle them.
Dr Bawumia said: “A great deal of effort has already gone into mitigating the impact of terrorism and violent extremism in the sub-region”.
Some of these efforts are the operations of Multi-national Joint Task Force in Lake Chad Basin, operations of the G5 Sahel, Operation Barkhane and United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) in the Sahel.
The Accra Initiative established in April 2017, also seeks to help members to share intelligence on cross-border criminal activities.
All these initiatives aimed at ensuring that the sub-region is peaceful and stable for citizens to live freely.
Madam Finda Koroma, Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, in her address, said the ECOWAS Commission provided financial and logistical support towards the establishment of the Centre through assistance it received from the African Union and the European Union.
The ECOWAS Commission would also provide training and capacity-building mechanism for staff of the Centre to ensure effective analysis of data.
All the 15-Member States of ECOWAS would have such centres to provide early warning and response to conflicts and crises.
The meeting was attended by the Chief of Staff, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Director of the Centre Col. Joseph Madeama, staff and other stakeholders