IOM Hosts Regional Workshop in Niger on Integrated Governance and Cooperative Border Management in Sahel and Gulf of Guinea Countries
Niamey – From 29 November to 1 December 2022, the Ministries of Interior in Niger and Ghana, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the US State Department, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Niger and Ghana organized a regional workshop on integrated governance and cooperative border management.
The workshop focused on the Sahel and Gulf of Guinea countries. It brought together representatives of the African Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), as well as government representatives and IOM staff from Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Togo.
The attendees exchanged experiences on cooperative border management at local, national, and regional levels, assessed community involvement in border governance, and discussed how free movement strategies could promote peace in the Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea. The participants also formulated recommendations, including enhancing the sharing of information between States and integrating epidemiological surveillance into the migration data collection systems to deepen and strengthen the humanitarian and health border management.
The Sahel and the Gulf of Guinea countries share several common challenges related to border management. Insecurity caused by attacks by conflicts spread globally across porous borders with dramatic consequences for populations. This situation forces many people to flee their homes, sometimes seeking refuge in neighboring countries.
Given the critical role that borders play in international trade, mobility, and security, the African Union's integrated border management strategy guides stakeholders' approaches to border governance in West and Central Africa. Within this framework, this workshop aimed to create a platform where context-based solutions to regional challenges can be discussed.
"In Africa, peace and security are fundamentally linked to good border governance and the issue of harmonious and integrated development of border areas," says Seve Diomande, IOM Niger Chief of Mission a.i. "African states have demonstrated a willingness to strengthen their border governance capacities and make border areas well-governed, fluid, and conducive to border exchanges. This includes protecting the rights of local communities and migrants and facilitating development, peace, and social cohesion on both sides of the border," he adds.
The regional workshop was organized with funding from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs of the US State Department through the projects' Haske DST II: "Strengthening DST Headquarters and Integrated Border Management Capacities at Southern Borders to Combat Transnational Crime (HASKE DST II)", "Promoting coordination and cooperation between border communities and border management authorities in Burkina Faso and Niger" and "Strengthening the Northern Borders of Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo".
For more information, please contact:
For Niger - Aïssatou Sy, Public Information Officer at IOM Niger, Tel: +22780066531, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Ghana – Nnamdi Iwuora, Senior Program Manager at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 302 742 930 Ext. 2401 email@example.com