Ouidah, Benin - The Minister for Economy and Finance in Benin, Mr. Jonas Gbian, has commended the collaborative efforts of the ECOWAS Commission and its Member States in promoting the integration process, saying that this had created, among others, a better understanding of the regional Protocol on Free Movement of Persons and Goods.
Speaking during the ninth Benin National Integration Week on 27 February in Ouidah, the Minister, represented by his Director of Cabinet, Mr. Adjovi Servais, applauded the foresight of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in helping to galvanize different sectors of the economies of Member States around integration issues to ensure ownership of the process by the citizens.
Mr. Gbian called on his compatriots, especially the inhabitants of the Atlantic and Littoral Region, including Ouidah, to maximize the opportunity provided by the Week to embrace the integration vision of the ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions.
The Governor of the Region, Mr. Placide Azande, expressed delight at the choice of his constituency for the 2014 National campaign, saying that it demonstrated the political will of the country's leadership to bring development closer to the people.
He therefore called on his compatriots to participate actively in the Week's events, including a two-day seminar, theatre performances and sporting activities.
The Deputy Mayor of Ouidah, Mr. Hubert Akponike, reiterated the benefits of integration, including the promotion of peace and
friendship among Community citizens.
As part of the National Integration Week celebration, a Caravan display was launched on 26 February following a Television
debate organized by the ECOWAS National Unit in Benin, highlighting the programmes and activities of the ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions in promoting regional integration.
The Benin Ministry of Economy and Finance introduced the National Week of Integration in 2004 as part of its efforts to promote ownership of the regional integration process by Community citizens, which is in line with the regional economic bloc's vision of an ECOWAS of People.