Mr Owusu-Bio (4th from right), Major-General Kotia (2nd from left) and Dr Archibald Letsa (5th from left), Volta Regional Minister, with other dignitaries and participants after the programme. Picture DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO
Mr Owusu-Bio (4th from right), Major-General Kotia (2nd from left) and Dr Archibald Letsa (5th from left), Volta Regional Minister, with other dignitaries and participants after the programme. Picture DELLA RUSSEL OCLOO

2nd Phase Ghana-Togo border reaffirmation exercise commences

The second phase of the reaffirmation of the Ghana-Togo international land boundary has commenced.

The reaffirmation exercise will cover a distance of approximately 80 km from the main border at Ave Dakpa to Wli Afegame in the Volta Region of Ghana.

The exercise, which is said to be consistent with the mandate of the Ghana Boundary Commission and the AU Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation, is being funded by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), through the Africa Union Border Programme (AUBP). 

It will lead to the reconstruction of the boundary pillars or markings defining the land boundaries between the two countries. 

A number of boundary pillars along the Ghana-Togo border had been removed due to factors such as erosion, tampering or outright removal of the pillars.

It is expected that the reaffirmation will also see to the construction of new main, intermediary and border post boundary pillars across Ave Hevi, Batume Junction, Wudome, Nyive, Shia, Honuta, Leklebi Dafor and Wli Afegame, all in the Volta Region which share borders with sister communities in Togo.

Boundary pillars are physical concrete pillars constructed on the ground along the international boundary line to define the sovereign limits of neighbouring states.

Reaffirming the boundaries, therefore, provides the opportunity for states to jointly confirm international boundaries to avoid any future disputes. 

Sensitisation programme

At a joint community sensitisation programme at Agortime Kpetoe, organised by the Ghana National Boundary Commission, in partnership with the National Land Boundary Commission of Togo, a Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, said rather than being barriers, international boundary lines ought to serve as bridges to promote economic and social growth in the two countries.

Participants included municipal and district chief executives from Akatsi North, Afadjato North, Ho and Ho West, as well as the Hohoe districts. 

He said management of a common boundary was a shared responsibility, hence the need for Ghana and Togo to continue to maintain good relations through mutual respect, shared cultural and social beliefs to “safeguard the peace and stability of both countries”.

“I will also like to entreat our esteemed traditional rulers, opinion leaders and residents living along the international boundary line to accord members of the joint Ghana and Togo land boundary reaffirmation technical committee the maximum support and cooperation,” the minister added. 

Land boundary

The National Coordinator of the Boundary Commission, Major-General Dr Emmanuel Kotia, said the land boundary between the two countries was 906 km, making it the longest boundary Ghana shared with a neighbouring country.

"The ongoing process is not to demarcate any new boundaries, rather, we are just reaffirming existing boundary lines to enable us to replace existing markings or pillars that have been damaged or tampered with," he said.

According to the coordinator, the project will be undertaken within a three-week period, hence the need for the chiefs and people to cooperate with the team.

The Permanent Secretary of the Land Boundary Commission of Togo, Dr Lardja Douti, also said that the reaffirmation exercise would be beneficial to both countries.

A representative of the Paramount Chief of Agortime traditional area, Nene Akoto Sah VII, said: "We see political parties come to this area to run smooth campaigns during electioneering, however, when it is time for us to vote, many of our indigenes go through very difficult moments, and so our hope is that the demarcation processes will bring lasting solutions to such challenges."

The Volta Regional Minister,  Dr Archibald Letsa, expressed the preparedness of the Regional Coordinating Council to support the team in its work.

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