Shirley Ayorkor Botchway (5th from right), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and other dignitaries at the meeting. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY
Shirley Ayorkor Botchway (5th from right), Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and other dignitaries at the meeting. Picture: EDNA SALVO-KOTEY

West Africa boundary managers urged to share information, operations

Leaders in boundary management in West Africa have been urged to make the establishment of information-sharing mechanisms and joint operations a priority to enable the sub-region effectively address shared cross-border challenges in a coordinated manner.

Advertisement

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, who gave the charge, said boundary management in West Africa remained fraught with significant challenges which called for collective efforts to address.

Speaking at the inaugural meeting of Heads of National Boundary Commission (NBC) of West Africa in Accra yesterday, Ms Botchwey stated that insufficient infrastructure, limited resources and fragmented coordination among national boundary management actors continued to impede effective boundary management.

To tackle these issues would require synchronising country-level efforts with regional and continental actions, harmonising strategies, strengthening synergies between national and regional actors, and sharing best practices to effectively implement border governance strategies in the region, she said.

As frontline institutions responsible for managing boundaries and implementing policies that promote security and development, “the formulation and implementation of integration strategies rest heavily on you”, Ms Botchwey added.

Meeting

The three-day meeting provides a unique platform for engagement in meaningful discussions on efforts towards cross-border management, challenges and opportunities of member states.

It is also to enable member states to explore ways to create synergies that would facilitate the creation of effectively managed boundaries and borders crucial for trade, cultural exchange and cooperation.

Present at the meeting were some ambassadors and High Commissioners, representatives from the African Union, Economic Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA) and Heads of National Boundary Commissions in West Africa.

Commitment

The minister said the country was committed to the ideals of boundary management as evidenced in the establishment of the Ghana Boundary Commission, adding “I believe this meeting will also facilitate the forging of partnerships and strategies crucial for shaping the future of our boundary infrastructure management in the West Africa region”.

She said the NBCs or national boundary structures played crucial roles in strengthening regional cooperation and addressing complex border management challenges. “By maintaining and reaffirming our shared boundaries, we have laid the groundwork for a united Africa where cooperation transcends historical divisions” she added.

Significance

The Director-General of NBC of Nigeria and Chairman of the Inaugural Meeting of Heads of NBCs in West Africa, Adamu Adaji, said the meeting had created a coordinating mechanism that would strengthen synergy and complementarity among West African states.

That, he added, was in line with ECOWAS‘s vision of promoting socio-economic integration through better governance of borders. Mr Adaji said ECOWAS remained one of the most ambitious, vibrant and advanced regional economic communities in Africa.

He said the sub-region adopted the concept of cross-border in countries because of the fact that peace and security in the region was inextricably tied to good border governance and the collective engagement of all member states.

Mr Adaji said the vision of ECOWAS was to create a “region without borders, peaceful and coherent, built on good governance with the populations having the capacity to access and exploit enormous resources by creating opportunities for sustainable development and environmental preservation”.

The Commissioner-General of the Ghana Boundary Commission (GBC), Major General Emmanuel Kotia, said the country was honoured to host the special meeting as it would help improve on land and maritime activities with neighbouring countries.

He said among issues to be deliberated were mechanism for setting up frameworks for national boundaries for countries yet to establish their NBCs.

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...

0
Shares