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Heads of National Boundary Commissions in West Africa meet in Accra to tackle territorial challenges

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The commissioners

Heads of National Boundary Commissions in West Africa are holding a three-day seminar to tackle territorial challenges among the West African states collectively.

Addressing the commissioners, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said it will help address common security challenges within the region.

Upholding inherited boundaries is not just a legal imperative under international law, but an essential path for preserving the territorial integrity of West African states.

Though much effort lies ahead, there is the need to collectively maintain the territorial integrity of post-colonial states and promote peaceful coexistence through adherence to international legal principles.

The African Union has embraced these principles to ensure stability and focus on broader goals of unity and development.

Madam Ayorkor Botchway believes the three-day meeting will provide a unique platform to engage in meaningful discussions on efforts towards cross-border management, challenges and opportunities of member states as well as explore ways to coordinate mechanisms and create synergies that will facilitate the creation of effectively managed boundaries and borders crucial for trade, cultural exchange, and cooperation.

She continued that such a 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.

This is because National Boundary Commissions or National Boundary Structures play a crucial role in strengthening regional cooperation and addressing complex border management challenges she said.

She reaffirmed that maintaining shared boundaries, is pivotal for ensuring regional security, fostering economic growth, combating cross-border crimes such as smuggling, human trafficking, and terrorism, and facilitating initiatives like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and attracting foreign investments within the West Africa region.

The Commissioner General of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Major General Emmanuel Wekem Kotia, in an address said the meeting will draw up modalities for the establishment of a coordination mechanism between national and regional actors for better articulation implementation of border governance strategies and managing boundaries.

Major General Emmanuel Wekem Kotia

He said the commissioners will commit to sharing information and security intelligence that is practical for the enrolment of other West African states to establish their boundary commission.

The Commissioner General of Nigeria Boundary Commission, Adamu Adaji revealed that the Nigerian Commission was established in 1987 and remained one of the first institutions to solve international boundary issues.

Adamu Adaji

He stated that the meeting of West African commissioners is timely since it is going to address rising insecurity in the West African sub-region.

The Director of Free Movement and Tourism at the ECOWAS Commission, Albert Siaw -Boateng, urged the commissioners to help strengthen collaboration and institutionalize protocols that support the free movement of persons, trade, and capital.

Albert Siaw -Boateng

The meeting was supported by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Swiss Cooperation.


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