He said it was unfortunate that the region has began experience terrorism attacks at a time that the various countries are trying to integrate their economies and people to create opportunities for them.
President Mahama said this Tuesday when he met his Ivorian counterpart, President Alassane Ouattara in Abidjan, to discuss security in the sub region and also commiserate with the Ivorian people following last week’s terror attack.
It followed the recent attacks in three West African countries – Mali, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast- which left dozens of people dead.
The government on last Wednesday issued an alert of a possible terrorist threat in the country in the wake of the upsurge of terrorist attacks in the sub-region. It thus asked the general public to be vigilant, cautious and curious as it stepped up its counter-terrorism measures.
“It’s a pity that this is happening at this time because at this time, we have been trying to integrate our economies and our people to create the opportunity for our people to move freely across our borders but when things like this happens it means that we have to be more vigilant” he told journalists after the meeting.
President Mahama said considering the current development, countries within the region have to thoroughly scrutinize those coming though their borders with the view to indentifying those with criminal intents, noting that ECOWAS has passed several protocols on anti terrorism which he said “we have been discussing how we can activate those protocols”.
“We have been discussing how commonly we can… share intelligence and…how we can still maintain our integration and let people move freely but at the same time make sure that people who want to harm us and are coming across our borders, we are able to identify who they are and prevent them from doing the evil they wanna inflict on our people,” President Mahama said.
Mr. Mahama is in Ivory Coast for a day’s Africa Chief Executive Officers’ Forum. It is the first time the forum is hosted by an African country since its inception in 2012.
President Mahama who was received at the airport by Prime Minister Kablan Duncan is accompanied by Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister for Communications and Mr Prosper Bani, Minister of Interior and Casel Ato-Forson, Deputy Minister of Finance.
He is expected to meet owners of other businesses during his stay.
The Africa CEO forum is the foremost platform for CEOs and officials of African international companies to share experiences and ideas, expand their networking systems and find new financial partners in the continent and beyond.
They also use the forum as the vehicle or driving force in the development of the African private sector, learn from the best practices of fast-growing companies in the continent, and promote their companies within the African continent and beyond.
Since the first CEO forum edition in 2012, it has become the flagship forum for African investors and their partners to fine-tune their development agenda in the continent.
More than 800 participants, made up of 500 CEOs from the African continent, 100 bankers and investors, 200 high profile African and international Very Important Personnel are attending the 2016 edition hosted by Groupe Jeune Afrique in partnership with the African Development Bank and Rainbow Unlimited.