A boost for efforts to strengthen border control against terrorism and extremism

Apr 13, 2017

Mr. Dominic Sam, UNDP Country Director (right) and Mr. Shigeru Umetsu, Charger d’affair of the Japanese Embassy in Ghana

Accra, 12th April, 2017 - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Japanese Embassy in Ghana has launched a project dubbed, “Strengthening Border Control Capacities Against Extremism and Terrorism in West Africa and the Sahel” to boost efforts to deal with the menace in the sub-region.

Amidst the growing concerns over the rise in acts of terrorism and extremism in West Africa and the Sahel region, and the attendant adverse impacts on societies, security agencies need cutting edge intelligence, skills and strategies to deal with the phenomenon. The initiative therefore seeks to provide border management training to security agencies from seven (7) ECOWAS countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal and Niger.

“Violent extremism and terrorism respects no borders. They are more sophisticated, diffused and difficult to track. Dealing with it therefore requires the state-of-the-art intelligence and cross-border collaboration among security agencies”, said Mr. Dominic Sam, UNDP Country Director during the launch of the project. “It is better to be proactive rather than reactionary in dealing with terrorism”.

It is funded by the Government of Japan, which has been a long trusted partner in the areas of peace and security in the sub-region. In his brief remarks, Mr. Shigeru Umetsu, Charger d’affair of the Japanese Embassy, indicated that the project is part of the Japanese commitment toward peace and stability, which are critical for development. He thanked UNDP for partnering with Government of Japan on this initiative.

The training will be implemented by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Ghana, Nigeria and Mali. More than 90 security personnel from the seven countries are expected to benefit from the capacity building session. In Ghana, personnel from immigration, police, military and the intelligence will benefit from the training which seeks to improve the responses of Member States within the context of rising radicalism, extremism and terror attacks orchestrated partly by domestic and transnational criminal networks in West Africa.

Between 2010 and 2016, Japan has provided more than US $ 5 million to KAIPTC through UNDP to deal with transnational organized crime and the proliferation of small arms. The support against the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons has led to an increased level of awareness on the dangers of small arms and members in the ECOWAS sub-region are taking steps to deal with its menace.

Contact information

Justice Agbezuge, Programme Analyst, UNDP: justice.agbezuge@undp.org; 0547316778