President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says the West Africa sub-region has become a dangerous place to live.
He claims that the increased level of insurgency within the subregion makes the environment uneasy.
Nana Akufo-Addo says measures have been put in place to combat instability in the subregion during a meeting with Austria’s Chancellor, who is in Ghana for a two-day official visit.
“Now we are in a dangerous neighbourhood, especially in the Sahelian part and the area is becoming more difficult because of the difficult economic circumstances of all the countries in the sub-region. So, the atmosphere is not the best in West Africa.”
Countries in the sub-region have been urged to set up an Early Warning Center as part of plans to deal with a possible insurgency following a series of military coup d’état recorded within West Africa.
The centre would help detect issues that could fuel a military takeover.
All member states of ECOWAS are expected to take this proactive measure under a revised protocol on democracy and good governance by the economic union.
West African leaders have also been appealing to the United Nations to financially resource ECOWAS to augment its security efforts in dealing with insecurities in the sub-region.
In Ghana, there is a growing concern over insurgents entering the country.
For example, over 4,000 refugees have reportedly entered Ghana due to the continuous activities of violent extremists in Burkina Faso.
The West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism has been warning that Ghana is at high risk of terrorism following pockets of civil, political and social unrest in parts of the West African sub-region.
It says threats of violent extremism are heavily descending towards coastal states from the Sahel regions and that Ghana could not be spared, for that matter, given happenings in its neighbouring countries.
This was contained in a report released by the Centre highlighting Ghana’s exposure to violent extremism while providing the historical and analytical context of these threats.
Factors such as chieftaincy and ethnic disputes, land conflicts, marginalization of vulnerable groups, and high youth unemployment make Ghana very susceptible to threats of terrorism.