Accra- Ghana (PANA) -- Denmark has announced a grant of one million dollars to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Peace Fund, aimed at helping to prevent and manage conflicts in the sub-region.
The agreement formalising the grant, the first by any of the international partners to be made to the special fund, was signed in Accra Wednesday, ECOWAS sources said here.
ECOWAS Executive Secretary Mohamed Ibn Chambas signed for the sub-regional organisation, while the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Flemming Bjoerk Pedersen, signed for his country.
Pedersen said the grant represented "the first of several contributions" to be made to the ECOWAS fund by Denmark, an apparent reference to a total grant of US$5 million pledged to the 15-member organisation over the next five years.
The Danish envoy hailed ECOWAS for its efforts to ensure peace and security within the sub-region and recalled its role in restoring peace to Liberia after more than a decade of internecine fighting.
"ECOWAS has scored a major success in 2003," Pedersen said, and added: "ECOWAS has demonstrated it can solve conflicts in its own region.
" Earlier, Chambas expressed gratitude for Denmark's "positive response", and described the grant as a "significant contribution" in maintaining peace and security, and creating the necessary environment for democratic governance and human rights to thrive.
He said with the right atmosphere, "we can have the stability to embark on socio-economic development and an integrated West Africa.