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Don’t let security, trade analysts frighten you, Ghana-Burkina Faso relationship is solid – Boniface Gambila

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It would be recalled that three military-led West African nations announced their immediate withdrawal from the regional bloc ECOWAS, accusing the body of becoming a threat to its members.

Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso “decide in complete sovereignty on the immediate withdrawal” from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), read a joint statement published on Sunday.

ECOWAS “under the influence of foreign powers, betraying its founding principles, has become a threat to its member states and its population”, read the statement.

The three countries accused the regional body of failing to support their fight against “terrorism and insecurity”, while imposing “illegal, illegitimate, inhumane and irresponsible sanctions”.

ECOWAS said in a statement that it had not been notified of the countries’ decision to quit the bloc. Its protocol provides that withdrawal takes up to one year to be completed, Aljazeera reports.

Speaking about the trade and economic implications of the move by the three countries on the Day Break Upper East Show yesterday, Monday, January 29, 2024, Emmanuel Wullingdool, Agriculture Policy Consultant, explained that generally, trade within the sub-region would be affected. Mr. Wullingdool specified that two major agriculture commodities; tomatoes and onions, would suffer the most from this new development.

“If you look at the GDP of these countries, it comes to almost 54 billion dollars. Comparing this to Ghana, which is about 77 billion, one may say Ghana is a larger economy, so a smaller economy leaving would not impact it, but we need to go behind the numbers. In terms of specific products, like onions and tomatoes, these are things that Burkina Faso and Niger are very good at. So put these together, and their breakaway would pose serious implications for Ghana,” he said.

Additionally, security analysts Saani Adib and Dr. Sadiq Adu-Twum, who spoke on the matter on the same platform, shared some possible security implications of the situation for Ghana.

However, Ghana’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Boniface Gambila, has asked Ghanaians to ignore the sentiments shared by the experts. He explained to Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show today, Tuesday, January 30, 2024, that Ghana’s relationship with Burkina Faso remains the same. As such, he forsees no possible trade or security implications.

“Our two presidents are very close, and since they are very close, and historically the fact that we are brothers and sisters, this would not affect us. I am very optimistic. Don’t let any security analyst sit back there and frighten you. There would be nothing of the sort.”

H.E. Gambila explained that when such situations appear, what should be done is for experts to look for the opportunities that exist and gravitate towards them, and not focus on the negatives that may exist.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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