Project News

Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Togo participate in first “Abidjan Border Forum” to strengthen cooperation on border management

31 October 2022

The Strengthening Border Security in Ghana (SBS Ghana) project, funded by European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), sponsored a ten-member delegation from Ghana, Burkina Faso and Togo to participate in the first edition of the “Abidjan Border Forum” (ABF) under the theme “Borders and Collective Security” held from 18 to 20 October 2022 in Abidjan.

The sponsored officials of the delegation were from the Ghanaian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ghana Immigration Service, the Ghana Revenue Authority – Customs Division and the Ghana Boundary Commission. Other sponsored officials of the delegation were from the Togolese and Burkinabe Boundary Commissions, respectively.

The Ivorian Minister of Interior and Security, Vagondo Diomande, read the opening address of the first edition of ABF on behalf of the Prime Minister Patrick Achi. Stressing on the opportunity the ABF provides for regional cooperation, he described the Abidjan Border Forum as “the framework for reflection and sharing of positive and negative cross border issues in order to identify the stakes and challenges at the various borders.”

The ABF is an initiative of the Executive Secretariat of the National Border Commission of Côte d'Ivoire (CNFCI), which seeks to address issues related to border governance in Africa. The ABF, pivotal to the ongoing discussions on border management and security within the sub-region, shares a similar objective with one of the key results of the SBS Ghana project, which is centred on regional cooperation.

This result seeks to foster closer collaboration with counterparts in neighbouring countries to enhance the exchange of data and information between border control authorities and reduce irregular migration, smuggling of goods and other cross-border crimes within the framework of the ECOWAS Free Movement Protocol.

The SBS Ghana Project in line with one of its key objectives of fostering regional cooperation and coordination also hosted a regional conference in Accra in November 2021 and sponsored high-level representatives and technical experts of the governments of Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire and Togo. As a result, the four countries signed a 12-point communique, which proposed policy solutions to strengthen coordination and cooperation at the operational level in cross-border areas, and discussed security and cross-border cooperation.

At the closing ceremony of the ABF, the Ivorian Minister for Communications and Government Spokesperson Amadou Coulibaly recognized the efforts of the European Union in enhancing regional cooperation and thanked the EU for the immense support given to the first edition of the ABF through ICMPD and the SBS Ghana project.

The Abidjan Border Forum closed with a series of recommendations on crosscutting border-related policy issues from diplomacy and negotiation of border disputes, cybersecurity, agricultural and trade policies, gender and cross-border cooperation, among others.

The three-day event was attended by high-level representatives from the Ivorian Government, the African Union (AU) and ECOWAS, development partner organisations, technical experts, researchers and other key stakeholders from Africa and Europe.

The next edition will be hold in Abidjan in 2024.