The US government has commended Ghana’s efforts in preventing violent extremism in the northern half of the country through its awareness and sensitization drive.
This follows a recent visit by a multi-agency US Government delegation to Ghana and its neighbours in the sub-region to discuss US support and regional efforts in building peace and bolstering resilience.
Speaking in a digital roundtable media briefing, Robert Jenkins, Assistant to the Administrator, US Agency for International Development, said he is impressed with the strategies government is implementing in countering violent extremism.
“There is a growing awareness and efforts to increase that awareness. Ghana is at threat of increased instability, one of the things that excite me most about this strategy across West Africa is its focus on prevention.”
“Ghana’s prevention-focused strategy can be a model for other countries across West Africa,” he added.
“Ghana is a wonderful example of where we can help the people and the government of Ghana to actually prevent a situation from getting worse and before, God forbids, gets out of hand”, Robert Jenkins said.
A report published by Promediation, a French NGO revealed that, Ghana serves as a withdrawal point for extremist groups who operate within Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire area.
Another report, presented to the United Nations Security Council, indicates the presence of a terrorist warehouse in Ghana, Togo and Benin.
So far, Ghana’s neighbours, Togo, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire have all experienced attacks from terrorists. Ghana has since been spared.
According to security analysts, the reason behind the non-attacks is due to the enabling environment Ghana indirectly provides for the operation of violent activities in the Sub-Region.
With support from international partners like the United States, Ghana is accelerating its sensitization campaign thus, “See something, say something” for citizens to be alert, report suspicious activities by persons in their communities.
The delegation also visited other coastal West African nations, including Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Togo.
Anne Witkowsky, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, US Department of State, said the US is committed to maintaining a supporting role to its African partners to address regional challenges and emphasized the need for teamwork, coordination and innovation to enhance security.
“When we work together with a common interest, we are all stronger,” she said.