The Deputy Ranking of the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, has called on African leaders to as a matter of necessity invest more resources to protect the borders and boundaries of the continent from terrorism and other cross-border criminal activities.

According to her, it was important for all stakeholders including Development Partners to commit more resources towards securing our international boundaries as well as the development of boundary communities. 

She added that it would also go a long way to ensure that our international boundaries are safe from terrorist cells, armed gangs as well as become entry routes for the trafficking of illegal arms, humans and other commodities.

 “I also wish to urge the Government of Ghana to as a matter of urgency ratifies the Niamey Convention to advance regional integration, improve peace and security in the region, develop borderlands and border communities, and improve cross border cooperation with our neighbouring countries,” Dr Zanetor said.

The Member of Parliament for Klottey Korle made the call in a statement delivered on the floor of Parliament to commemorate African Union Border Day.

The AU Border Day is celebrated annually on the 7th of June, instituted by the African Union as part of the union Border Programme.

Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings

The day is set aside to celebrate the existence and significance of borders in promoting peace as well as regional and continental integration in Africa.

The objective is to create awareness of the elimination of all sources of conflicts along international boundaries of Member States and to make border communities peaceful, safe and harmonious for socio-economic integration and cultural development.

She urged African leaders to take note of the language barrier as an invisible border that must be considered as part of managing cross-border issues on the Continent, adding that the porous borders make it absurd for any African country for that matter Ghana to say that “we are exempted from the security threats in our sub-region.

Ghana, Dr Zanetor said is also bound to the south by the Atlantic Ocean which also introduces a maritime dimension to our boundary issues and International Law of the Sea (ITLOS)”.

“Furthermore, the free movement of people within ECOWAS coupled with the widening gap between the rich and the poor increases crime and, yet again, poses a threat to our national security, she added.

 “Also significant is the fact that the Day aims at establishing the importance of the African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation, popularly referred to as “The Niamey Convention”. This Convention is a critical framework for integrated border governance and cross-border cooperation.

Mr Speaker, despite having such frameworks in place, there are a lot of factors that could be a threat to Ghana’s security including the southward drift of violent extremism and terrorism in the sub-region”.

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, and Member of Parliament for Damongo, Hon Samuel Abu Jinapor acknowledged the fact that the political, social and strategic significance of African borders cannot be over emphasized and “Well-defined borders are not only fundamental elements for defining statehood, but their consolidation is one of three major factors essential for building stable states and societies.

 They are key instruments for the promotion of peace, security and regional integration, as well as socio-economic development”.

According to him, the importance of border issues on our Continent is further evidenced in the number of Declarations, Resolutions and Agreements adopted on borders’

Full Statement by Dr Zanetor

STATEMENT IN HONOUR OF THE AFRICAN UNION BORDER DAY: THE EXISTENCE AND SIGNIFICANCE OF BORDERS IN PROMOTING PEACE AS WELL AS REGIONAL AND CONTINENTAL INTEGRATION IN AFRICA BY HON. DR. ZANETOR AGYEMAN-RAWLINGS, HONOURABLE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR KLOTTEY-KORLE CONSTITUENCY AND DEPUTY RANKING MEMBER ON THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON DEFENCE AND INTERIOR


Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to make a statement on AU Border Day. The theme: Challenges of cross-border cooperation and management of shared resources. We must take note of the language barrier as an invisible border that must be considered as part of managing cross-border issues on the continent.

Mr Speaker, we celebrate the African Union Border Day annually on the 7th of June. It is a day that was instituted by the African Union as part of the African Union Border Programme. This day is set aside to celebrate the existence and significance of borders in promoting peace as well as regional and continental integration in Africa.

 Further, the objective is to create awareness on the elimination of all sources of conflicts along international boundaries of Member States and to make border communities peaceful, safe and harmonious for socio-economic integration and cultural development.

Mr Speaker, also significant is the fact that the Day aims at establishing the importance of the African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation, popularly referred to as “The Niamey Convention”. This Convention is a critical framework for integrated border governance and cross-border cooperation.

Mr Speaker, despite having such frameworks in place, there are a lot of factors that could be a threat to Ghana’s security including the southward drift of violent extremism and terrorism in the sub-region. Our porous borders make it absurd for us to say that we are exempt from the security threats in our sub-region. Ghana is also bound to the south by the Atlantic Ocean which also introduces a maritime dimension to our boundary issues and International Law of the Sea (ITLOS).

Furthermore, the free movement of people within the ECOWAS coupled with the widening gap between the rich and the poor increases crime and, yet again, poses a threat to our national security.

I have been following the activities of the Ghana Boundary Commission since the establishment of its machinery and have noted how the Commission has been at the forefront of securing and maintaining the boundaries of Ghana by international law as well as the African Union and ECOWAS protocols of African and regional integration.

 In line with Cross Border Governance, the Commission has engaged its counterpart commissions in neighbouring countries to undertake activities towards securing the Country’s international boundaries. These activities include negotiations with Togo on a long-standing maritime dispute between Ghana and Togo and ongoing re-affirmation of land boundary pillars along the eastern international boundary line with Togo including the construction of the Land Boundary Terminus.

 In addition, the Commission has also held several engagements with their counterpart Boundary Commissions to deliberate on and address issues of boundary pillars and markers along the international boundary line between the countries. ­I would like to commend the Ghana Boundary Commission under the leadership of Maj. Gen. Kotia.

Today as we celebrate African Border Day, it is important for all stakeholders including Development Partners to commit more resources towards securing our international boundaries as well as the development of boundary communities. 

This will go a long way to ensure that our international boundaries are safe from terrorist cells, armed gangs as well as become entry routes for the trafficking of illegal arms, humans and other commodities.

 I also wish to urge the Government of Ghana to as a matter of urgency ratify the Niamey Convention to advance regional integration, improve peace and security in the region, develop borderlands and border communities, and improve cross border cooperation with our neighbouring countries.

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: