The Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery has launched the Strengthening Border Security in Ghana (SBSG) project in Accra yesterday aimed at improving border management and security in Ghana.
The €5 million project, which is funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) and implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), was to support Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to reduce irregular migration, human trafficking, smuggling of goods and other cross-border crimes to ensure security for citizens and visitors.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Dery said, the project was timely because the GIS strategic plan was in its initial phase of execution and required a boost for successful implementation.
He said the GIS had developed a five-year strategic plan, spanning 2018 to 2022, to strengthen institutional capacities and address challenges of the first plan which expired in 2015.
According to Mr Dery, international migration was now an inherent and integral part of the globalisation process, which was likely to expand in the coming years.
He said sustainable benefits of migration could be derived only by putting in place the requisite structures, policies, laws, implementation framework and capacity building of relevant state institutions involved in its management.
He said government on its part would continue to demonstrate its commitment by providing resources to help relevant actors in migration management to achieve their strategic objectives.
The EU ambassador to Ghana, Diana Acconcia said despite GIS’ efforts, the Ghanaian borders were porous, while its management remained a huge challenge with about 2,000 kilometres of borders and probably with more than a million entries a year.
She said Ghana was now facing an increasing pressure due to the security situation in Burkina Faso in addition to smuggling, human trafficking, drugs and counterfeit products.
Touching on the project, she said the first aspect of the project would focus on supporting the GIS in border management and training, while the second phase was dedicated to civil society organisations, media and local authorities with the aim of developing projects to improve the cross border management of people, goods and services
Mrs Acconcia said the project would also support the cooperation between control authorities of neighbouring countries in order to improve exchange of data and information between border control authorities.
She stated that other institutions such as the Customs and the Ghana Police Service would benefit from the project, and hinted that her outfit would launch a € 20 million Green project, to target the root causes of migration by supporting vocation training, job creation and climate change adaptation in the Western and Ashanti regions.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU