Six West African countries that share the Volta River, are discussing the effective functioning of a newly established Volta Basin Authority (VBA) at a Ministerial Council Meeting, in Accra.
The meeting dubbed: "Third Session of the Ministerial Council," will also serve as a platform to publicize and promote awareness on the VBA.
The Volta River is a trans-boundary shared by Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire, Mali and Togo.
There was a transitional measure by the six countries to make provisions to guide a process towards the ratification of a convention and establishment of the VBA
With the exception of Cote D'Ivoire and Benin all the remaining four countries have ratified the convention bringing into force a permanent VBA.
Mr. Albert Abongo, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, addressing the opening session of the meeting, said the forum would provide the countries with an opportunity to discuss pertinent issues that could affect the VBA.
He suggested the employment of permanent staff to be given a new lease of authority and sense of security to execute decisions of the Ministerial Council as well as develop and effectively implement innovative plans and programmes for the authority.
Mr. Abongo called on the management of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to include the programmes of the VBA into the regional integration development strategy.
"The Volta Basin Authority should therefore enhance institutional collaboration in resource mobilization, allocation, utilization and jointly monitor and evaluate the project," he said.
Mr. Abongo pledged Ghana's commitment to the convention and urged Cote D' Ivoire and Benin who had not fully ratified the convention to endeavour to ratify it.
Dr Charles Biney, Acting Executive Director of VBA, explained that it was important that the six countries worked together to manage the Volta Basin in a holistic manner.
"What one country does with regards to the Volta Basin could affect another country," he said.
Dr Biney said the Authority would jointly approve projects that would have impact on the Volta Basin as well as contribute to regional integration.
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