Strengthening the capacity of border officials and communities for improved security, cross-border cooperation, and safe migration along Trans-Gambia Transport Corridor

Misera (The Gambia) and Senoba (Senegal) border post on the South of Trans-Gambia Corridor. Photo: IOM 2023/Lamin W. Sanneh

Gambia Immigration Officer at Misera border post interacting with MIDAS. Photo: IOM 2023/Lamin W. Sanneh

In 2013, Ndey Fatou embarked on the dangerous journey to Europe which ended in futile and returned in 2016 to start a business

Banjul – In 2022, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with United Nations agencies – the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) – through the UN Network on Migration in The Gambia, launched a major project to support communities living, working or traveling along the northern and southern parts of both The Gambia and Senegal (the Trans-Gambia Corridor), in mitigating migration challenges and creating better skills development and entrepreneurship opportunities for youth, women and children.

The project, which seeks to “address the drivers and causes of migration-related vulnerabilities in border communities along the Trans-Gambia transport corridor” is funded by the Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (MMPTF).

“The project seeks to enhance border management capacities to prevent situations of vulnerability particularly those affecting the operations at border posts, and to strengthen the skills and livelihood opportunities of women and youth along the corridor,” says Sukai B. Cham, IOM’s National Programme Officer.

The nature of the borders – dilapidated posts and porous – along the Trans-Gambia corridor and the inauguration of the Senegambia Bridge in 2019, witnessed an increase in travellers traffic and trade volumes in the area. The vast porous and sparsely monitored borders of the corridor amidst the reduced transit times and increase in the number of migrants, exacerbate vulnerabilities particularly among women and youth who use the route.

“Our interventions seek to enhance the safety of community members, cross-border traders including women and youth through improved border management practices to facilitate safe and orderly migration, mitigate security threats and positively impact socioeconomic development along the transport corridor,” says Ms. Sukai B. Cham.

With support from M-MPTF, IOM in close collaboration with the Ministry of Interior through the Gambia Immigration Department (GID) is strengthening the capacity of border officials in Kerr Ali (Farafenni) and Misera, the north and south official borders of the corridor respectively, through training, refurbishment, and installation of Migration Information Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at the posts. So far, through IOM’s intervention, which is aimed at improving security, cross-border cooperation, and safe, orderly and regular migration, a total of twenty-five (25) GID officers were trained on Basic MIDAS as frontline users , Secondary Inspectors, and Training of Trainers (ToTs). With these MIDAS trainings for officers, GID is now able to collect travellers’ information in real- time to better understand mobility patterns and provide a comprehensive statistical basis for migration policy-related planning.

“The trainings improve our skills and MIDAS enhances easier and faster registration of traveller information at the border, and these are critical in ensuring security and effective immigration and border governance. This is essential in facilitating safe and orderly migration while mitigating security threats and cross-border organized crime,” says Yankuba Badjie, GID Officer, Misera Border Post.

Considering the important role of community members, including women and youth, and border officials’ collaboration in immigration and border governance, IOM continues to support the operationalization, through technical support of Inter-Agency Border Coordination Committees (IABCC) in Kerr Ali and Misera. The IABCCs play a leadership role in promoting cross-border security to strengthen cooperation, coordination, and exchange of information among border agencies for effective border security and trade facilitation.

The M-MPTF is a funding mechanism fully dedicated to supporting collective action on migration and ensuring that the mutual trust, determination, and solidarity amongst States and with other stakeholders can be fostered to ensure safe, orderly, and regular migration as well as impact the lives and livelihood of ordinary people, cross border-traders, and women and youth along the transport corridor.

Ndey Fatou Ceesay, a migrant returnee and now a cross-border trader in Soma – a major town along the transport corridor – deals in cosmetics, Gambian incense, and handcrafted beauty items. The improved border security and cross-border cooperation ease her movement and boost her business in Soma and other surrounding communities along the corridor.

“Thanks to the intervention of this project, my business is growing – I’m able to employ three young people on full-time with salaries. This is largely because most of the challenges traders like myself usually face along the corridor such as insecurity, harassment and other forms of organized crimes are now addressed,” says Ndey Fatou.

Ultimately, well-equipped point of entries (POEs), enhanced knowledge and capacity of border officials along the busy corridors and an informed community members on migration management will contribute to accelerating the realization of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) – especially Objective 11: Manage borders in an integrated, secure and coordinated manner and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in line with The Gambia development agenda.


For more information, please contact:

Lamin W. Sanneh IOM The Gambia’s National Officer, Strategic Communications,

SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth