IOM and Ghana Immigration Service launch project to reinforce border security along northern frontiers
Accra – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) launched the multi-country project “Strengthening the northern borders of Côte d’ivoire, Ghana, and Togo” project on 15 December 2021. The project, funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (United States Department of State), is designed to improve border security in the target countries by increasing the capacity of border management agencies (BMAs) to respond to emerging challenges, while reinforcing the resilience of border communities.
Launching the project, the Honourable Deputy Minister for the Interior, Hon. Naana Eyiah (MP), indicated that “the Government is excited about the opportunities presented by the introduction of the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS), which will support the digitization of migration data and also provide effective exit and entry monitoring”. She added that “the provision of MIDAS, border patrol equipment, training and others, will significantly enhance the capacity of the Ghana Immigration Service and for that matter, the Government to effectively manage our land borders”.
Comptroller-General of GIS, Kwame Asuah Takyi, said “strengthening the borders of the country has been a priority of the service since its establishment. Border security is crucial for the maintenance of the internal security of the country,” He stressed that “the country is not relenting on its effort to secure the northern borders”.
Border management and security challenges have come to the fore along the northern borders of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo in recent years. Porous borders; inadequate border infrastructure and equipment; challenges in migration data processing and combatting trans-border crimes largely, remain some of the historically chronicled challenges facing border management agencies. The situation is further exacerbated by limited coordination between local authorities and border communities and the emergence of new threats such as violent extremism spreading from the Sahel and humanitarian.
Nnamdi Iwuora, IOM Programme Manager, delivering the opening remarks on behalf of the IOM Ghana Chief of Mission said “this project promotes a multifaceted response to border management challenges combining traditional security interventions with preventative actions that places border communities at the centre of border management strategies and seeks to build their resilience”.
The project interventions include the renovation of three border posts in Ghana and the construction of a border post each in Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo including the installation of renewable energy sources; the provision of patrol equipment and the construction of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) facilities. Installation of MIDAS, an IOM-developed; non-commercial border management information system solution in Ghana and Togo to support the digitization of traveller information and traveller identity verification among others.
The United States Ambassador to Ghana, H.E. Stephanie Sullivan, stated that “the regional border programme will assist the three countries to control their borders, allowing the free flow of people and goods for legal and positive reasons and blocking or thwarting the flow of illegal goods, criminals and terrorists, as well as putting in place appropriate health measures”.
As the United Nations’ migration agency, IOM remains committed to supporting the Government of Ghana and countries in West Africa to address the national and regional challenges to immigration and border management and to build local, national, and regional capacity to manage migration effectively and humanely.
For more information, please contact Nnamdi IWUORA, Programme Manager at IOM Ghana, at firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +233 30 274 2930