By Victoria Saffa
The southern city of Bo has hosted celebrations marking this year’s anniversary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with the theme: “State of Play in ECOWAS for Sierra Leone”.
The 39th anniversary celebrations of the Commission kicked-off last Tuesday with a radio discussion program aimed at raising awareness on the activities of the ECOWAS Commission in the country and West Africa as a whole.
Led by the ECOWAS National Unit in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, the ECOWAS Day commemoration also witnessed a procession on Wednesday March 28 by pupils of various secondary schools across Bo city, ECOWAS Volunteers, officials of the ECOWAS National Unit and MRU across the major streets of the city – from the Clock Tower to the Methodist Youth Resource Center where statements were made by various speakers.
Angela Ngozi Elumeze, an ECOWAS Volunteer who also teaches science at the Koidu Girls Secondary School in Kono, spoke of the challenges volunteers in their various stations do face. Despite these challenges, she said they were determined to help Sierra Leone improve its health and education sectors.
Deputy Development Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, John Sumailah, said the occasion was in furtherance of the dream of the founding fathers of ECOWAS which, according to him, was to foster economic integration within the sub-region.
This year’s celebrations, he said, was to adequately inform the people of Bo and the southern region as a whole about the activities of the Commission in the country.
“In addition to ECOWAS’s intervention in ending the war in Sierra Leone, the Commission was also actively involved in developmental activities in almost all sectors of human development,” he said. “ECOWAS also not too long ago made financial donation to flood victims in the country while its Gender Unit in Senegal has been dishing out scholarships to girls in technical and vocational institutes in the country.”
Statement was also made by a representative of the Mano River Union, Kenyeh Ballay.
The celebrations were climaxed by a football match between Bo School and ECOWAS Volunteers which ended 3-0 in favour of Bo School.