President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has charged members of the Boundary Commission board to take urgent steps to help settle border challenges with neighbours to avoid “setting the tone for potential conflicts”.
He said there was the urgent need for the sustainable management of land and maritime boundaries and airspaces through proper demarcation, documentation and protection of boundary pillars in line with statutory and international laws to safeguard the sovereignty and interest of the nation.
President Akufo-Addo was speaking during the swearing in of board members of the commission at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.
“I am told for instance, that one of our border pillars in the north is found in the middle of a popular drinking spot,” he said and added that aside from being a potential for sparking conflicts with neighbours, the situation also had implications for the country’s security, social and economic development.
The President recounted the maritime border dispute with Cote d’Ivoire which had to finally be determined by the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
Among other boundary challenges the commission was working to find solutions to are those with Togo and Burkina Faso at Sapaliga in the Bawku West district and Paga in the Kassina Nankana district, both of the Upper East Region.
He said the vast amount of mineral resources along the borders made it imperative that the country resolve the disagreements to forestall any needless conflict.
The President expressed the hope that the board would offer the commission the necessary support to tackle the challenges.
The Boundary Commission was established by an Act of Parliament, 2010 (Act 795).
The board is chaired by the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, with the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Godfred Yeboah Dame; the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, and the Minister of Defence, Mr. Dominic Nitiwul as members.
Others are a representative of the Minister of Energy, Mr. Lawrence Asangongo Apaalse; a representative of the Ministry of Transport, Mr. Nathaniel Amonoo Wilson; a representative of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr. Samuel Seth Passah; a representative of the National Security Council, Mr. Osei Bonsu Dickson, and a representative of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr. Emmanuel Philip Owusu-Boakye.
The rest are representatives of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, Mr. Michael Enam Dordor, the Ghana Institute of Geoscientists, Professor Jerry Samuel Yaw Kuma; a representative of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources Dr. Bukari Ali; the National Coordinator of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Maj. Gen. Dr. Emmanuel Kotia, and a representative of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, yet to be nominated.