The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has launched Immigration and Border Management (IBM) project dubbed “Strengthening the Northern Borders of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo” in Accra.
The project, which would be implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and funded by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement of the United States of American (USA), is aimed at improving border stability at selected borders along the northern frontier of the targeted countries.
Launching the project yesterday, the Deputy Interior Minister, Mrs Naana Eyiah, noted that maintaining border security was a daunting task globally, particularly in this era where the world was faced with the Coronavirus pandemic.
She indicated that West Africa was noted for high levels of intra-regional migration combined with limited access to identity and travel documents which presented major challenges for border management.
As a result, the Deputy Interior Minister, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Gomoa Central, said the government had a vital duty to protect its borders, adding, “border crossing from being channels for transnational crimes such as the smuggling of small arms and light weapons, smuggling of migrants and improper migration among others”.
She said Ghana was committed to protecting its borders for which reason the government was excited about the opportunities presented by the introduction of the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS), a border management information system solution.
“MIDAS will support the need to digitise migration data and also provide effective exit and entry monitoring which will greatly enhance the capacity of the Ghana Immigration Service (and for that matter Government) to properly manage our land borders,” she added.
She said the Ministry, in collaboration with the IOM, had covered many areas of work, including the National Migration Policy, the Ghana National Migration Commission and supporting the activities of GIS.
She, therefore, expressed the government’s gratitude to the IOM and USA for the support, adding that, “we acknowledge that this support will also reinforce the capacity of Ghana Immigration Service and other border agencies to respond to emerging border management challenges.”
The Programme Manager of the IOM, Mr Iwuora Nnamdi, stressed that border activities were very important for which reason an attendant border management was equally important.
He said the project, which is being implemented in Ghana, would help improve border stability by reinforcing border management capacities and social cohesion with border communities at selected border posts along the northern frontier of the country.
Similarly, the USA Ambassador to Ghana, Stephanie Sullivan, reiterated that the project would assist the three countries to provide intensive security at their borders.
For his part, the Comptroller General of GIS, Mr Kwame Asuah Takyi, said border security was crucial for maintenance of internal security.
He said the project would improve border security in the country by increasing the capacity of Border Management Agencies (BMAs) to respond to emerging challenges while reinforcing the resilience of border communities.
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR & PATIENCE ANAADEM