Participants after the workshop
Participants after the workshop

Border security agencies trained on Joint Mobile Team concept 

The International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) Ghana has organised two separate trainings on the concept and practice of Joint Mobile Teams (JMT) for border security agencies in Elubo and Akanu in the Western and Volta regions respectively.

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The two, which are a follow-up to two earlier ones organised in 2022 and 2023 in the north of Ghana, were part of activities of the Strengthening Border Security (SBS) project in Ghana. 

Workshops

The two workshops are part of a larger effort to develop, pilot, and validate the concept and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the functioning of the JMTs in Ghana. 

This is a novel strategy that ICMPD is proposing in the framework of the SBS project. 

The workshops were attended by over 70 participants and national experts from various border management agencies, including the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Ghana Revenue Authority-Customs Division (GRA-CD), National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), Narcotics Control Commission (NACOC) and the Ghana Police Service (GPS).

The workshops were to improve the ability of participants to function effectively in tackling cross-border crimes, particularly migrant smuggling, human trafficking and the threat of insecurity and terrorism. 

Relevance

Speaking on the relevance of the workshops, the Project Manager,  Strengthening Border Security in Ghana Project Iulia Jolley-Socea said, “The development of the JMT is a crucial strategy to improve coordination among key border management agencies in Ghana”.  

She added that by bringing together the expertise and resources of multiple security agencies, JMTs enabled the agencies to confront border challenges with agility, effectiveness and unity of purpose through coordinated patrols, intelligence-sharing and rapid response capabilities. 

“This empowers them to proactively address threats at the earliest opportunity, safeguarding Ghana’s borders and communities,” she said.

The Border Management Specialist at ICMPD, Mr Tony Mihaitoaia, stated that the joint mobile teams promoted inter-agency cooperation and built trust among participating stakeholders. 

The collaborative approach, he noted, fostered a shared understanding of common goals and challenges, facilitating smoother operations and communication." 

"Mobile teams can also leverage community engagement in border areas to gather valuable intelligence and build strong relationships with local stakeholders," he added. 

In Elubo and Akanu, participants were introduced to the JMT concepts and SOPs, which provide a framework for joint operations, information sharing and collaborative efforts in securing Ghana's borders. 

Best practice

The facilitation team also shared valuable insights into key topics such as human rights in border management, situational awareness, and identifying and addressing trafficking in human beings during JMT operations. 

Additionally, they engaged in interactive scenario-based training and planning exercises as well as field simulation exercises, practising complex border security scenarios in a hands-on and interactive manner to enhance their response skills and coordination. 

Through a constructive review process, the security personnel reflected on and assessed their performances, identified lessons learned and provided feedback on the JMT SOPs. 

The border agencies gathered valuable insights and best practices and offered constructive suggestions for refining the JMT framework. 

The SBS Project in Ghana is a joint initiative between ICMPD and GIS, funded by the European Union's Emergency Funding for Africa. 

This collaborative project seeks to enhance the capacity of Ghana's border security agencies, ensuring their long-term sustainability and adherence to human rights and the rule of law. 

By implementing initiatives such as the JMT piloting, the project showcases ICMPD's dedication to strengthening Ghana's border management.

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