Bright Future for ECOWAS Children

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Ouedraogo being welcomed to the school with flowers while Arnold Seshie, school’s MD, looks on

Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, president of the Economic Community of West African States, has said that the protection of child rights is one of the priorities of the commission to ensure a bright future for its children

THE ECOWAS commission is committed to ensuring the brightest future for its children through the implementation of various child protection, education and development programmes.  Kadré Desire Ouédraogo, President of the ECOWAS Commission, during an interactive session with students and management staff of the Akosombo International School, Akosombo, Ghana, on Tuesday, February 4, informed them that the priorities of the commission included protection of child rights.

Ouedraogo inspecting a Guard of Honour mounted by AIS students
Ouedraogo inspecting a Guard of Honour mounted by AIS students

“It is our duty and obligation to provide our children with quality education, training and to protect them from child labour, child abuse, early marriage and discrimination against the girl child, child trafficking, use in conflicts and other practices harmful to child development,” said Ouedraogo while answering a question from one of the students to a loud applause by the capacity crowd at the school’s auditorium.

The President, who was on a visit to the school on the sidelines of the Mali after-action review experts’ meeting being held in the town in Ghana’s eastern region, went down memory lane on his involvement in regional integration under the auspices of ECOWAS. He took the students through the history, mission and objectives of ECOWAS, especially its irreversible commitment to economic development and promotion of peace and stability in the region, as well as the priorities of the commission’s management under his leadership.

Ouedraogo addressing the students
Ouedraogo addressing the students

While paying tribute to Kwameh Nkrumah, Ghana’s Independence leader for the great idea behind the development of Akosombo, including the Volta Dam which generates hydro-electricity for Ghana and some neighbouring States, Ouédraogo told the students that as community citizens and future leaders, they were entitled to all rights under the ECOWAS instruments including free movement and the right to basic education. He enjoined them to cultivate the spirit of unity and integration, to build on the strength of diversity and aspire to excellence as productive and worthy community citizens.

Seshie addressing the audience
Seshie addressing the audience

Welcoming the president and his delegation, Arnold Seshie, general manager of the school, said the school shared ECOWAS’ ideals as espoused in its core values of excellence, hard work, empathy, discipline, integrity and honesty. He informed the visitors that the school celebrates the ECOWAS Day annually and promotes regional integration through its activities including having exchange programmes with institutions of ECOWAS member states.

The Akosombo International School, some 100-km north-east of Accra, the nation’s capital, has a proven tradition of academic excellence and character development. It was set up in September 1962, originally to provide education at kindergarten and primary levels for children of workers (mostly expatriates) involved with the construction of the Akosombo Dam. The school presently runs courses from the kindergarten to senior secondary level, with a student population of 1,500 including those from eight ECOWAS Member States – Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo and host Ghana.

ECOWAS President signing the visitors' register
ECOWAS President signing the visitors’ register
The President, some ECOWAS staff with AIS MD Seshie, staff and students of the school
The President, some ECOWAS staff with AIS MD Seshie, staff and students of the school
AIS students at the school's auditorium
AIS students at the school’s auditorium
Ouedraogo and some of the students
Ouedraogo and some of the students

— Feb. 17, 2014 @ 01:00 GMT

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