Col Joseph K. Merdiemah (left), Director,  National Centre for Coordination of Early Warning and Response Mechanism, interacting with Baba Gana Wakil (right), Resident Representative of the ECOWAS Commission in Ghana, and Dr Robert Afriyie, Director of Regional Integration Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, at the workshop in Accra. Picture: Emmanuel Quaye
Col Joseph K. Merdiemah (left), Director, National Centre for Coordination of Early Warning and Response Mechanism, interacting with Baba Gana Wakil (right), Resident Representative of the ECOWAS Commission in Ghana, and Dr Robert Afriyie, Director of Regional Integration Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, at the workshop in Accra. Picture: Emmanuel Quaye

Bridge gap between early warning, response - Col. Joseph Merdiemah to duty bearers

There is the need to bridge the gap between early warning and response in order to mitigate the challenges posed by disasters in the country.

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The Director of the National Centre for Coordination of Early Warning and Response Mechanism, Col. Joseph Merdiemah, said duty bearers needed to be proactive in responding to early warning messages by providing resources to address emerging challenges. 

The director was speaking on the sidelines of a two-day Early Warning and Response stakeholders coordination workshop in Accra yesterday.

Participants were drawn from the Office of the Chief of Staff, ministries, departments and agencies, security agencies and civil society organisations.  

The purpose of the workshop is to enhance collaboration among stakeholders on early warning and response and also discuss issues that impact on human security.

Initiative

The director said the centre, an ECOWAS initiative, was established in the country on November 12, 2021, backed by the National Centre for the Coordination of Early Warning Response Mechanism, Act 2021 (ACT 1070).

Among its objectives is to identify emerging crises in a timely manner and recommend improved response mechanisms. 

“Its role is geared towards the monitoring, collection, analysing and detecting conflict indicators and production of reports. 

“The core mandate of the centre is to warn government of threats to human security, propose appropriate actions, coordinate and ensure the implementation of responses where necessary at both national and regional levels; improve crisis response mechanisms and provide for related matters,” he added.

The director further explained that the rationale for the workshop was to establish a relationship between the centre and stakeholders to enhance collaboration for early warning and early response. 

“I hope that during this workshop, our deliberations will yield fruitful outcomes that will help us to achieve a common goal of enhancing human security in the country,” he said.

The ECOWAS Resident Ambassador, Baba Gana Wakil, commended the centre for the strides it had made in the last two years of its operations. 

He also expressed appreciation to the government for its commitment to early warning mechanisms and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration for the leadership role it played in the establishment of the centre.

Mr Wakil expressed hope that the workshop would not only bolster stakeholder relations, but also foster greater understanding of the significant roles of stakeholders in the overall framework of early warning and response system in the country and West Africa.

Relevance

The Director of Regional Integration Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Dr Robert Afriyie, said the centre was established to operate as a national strategic centre of excellence to inform decision-making and respond to crises in the country and West Africa. 

In contemporary times, he said the sub-region had witnessed threats posed by coups, terrorism and violent extremism.

There were also socio-economic and political challenges in some member states of ECOWAS, including Ghana, which impacted security, growth and sustainable governance. 

“The combined effects of these activities heighten vulnerabilities and create insecurity within and on our borders in the sub-region,” the director added.

Dr Afriyie also thanked the director and dedicated staff of the centre for their hard work, commitment and dedication in working towards achieving the objectives of the establishment.

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