Prioritise cross-border cooperation in deliberations – Owusu-Bio to Ghana-Cote d’Ivoire Boundary C’ssions

The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, (MP) has urged the Boundary Commissions of Ghana and La Cote d’Ivoire to prioritarise Cross-border cooperation in every aspect of their deliberations.

He said the successful implementation of mutually agreed decisions by stakeholders will not be possible if the citizens of the border communities are not involved in the formulation and implementation phases of the decisions made.

“I would like to remind all stakeholders and partners of the fact that the management of our common boundaries has a human face. All efforts toward proper boundary management are done in the interest of the people of the communities involved, therefore, implementation will not be possible if they are not involved,” he added.

Mr Owusu-Bio said this during the opening session of the Joint Ghana/La Cote d’Ivoire Boundary Commissions Introductory Meeting held in Accra on Thursday, 24 February 2022.

The Deputy Minister also called the Commissions of both countries to ensure proper management of land and maritime boundaries to serve as a tool for safeguarding the peace and security of both countries.

He said with the nature of emerging security threats along various boundaries due to the rise in political unrest in some neighbouring African countries, there is the need to jointly manage the common land and maritime boundaries of these countries.

“This is the time for both countries to jointly demarcate, delimit and reaffirm their common land and maritime boundaries as well as jointly ensure proper management of the boundaries,” he stressed.

The Deputy Minister said it is important for both countries to employ the efforts and support of all stakeholders and partners, as the achievement of all targets for proper collaboration cannot be done solely by the Commissions of both countries.

He expressed his joy over the peaceful acceptance of the ruling over the common maritime boundary, saying it shows the bond of good neighbourliness still exists between both countries.

Mr Owusu-Bio, on behalf of President Akufo-Addo and the sector minister Samuel A. Jinapor, applauded the efforts made by the two Boundary Commissions to arrive at such a historic occasion.

He also commended the support rendered by the African Union Border Programme in collaboration with the German Agency for International Cooperation so far while acknowledging the support provided by some Ghanaian institutions including the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, the Ghana Maritime Authority, the Ghana Armed Forces among others.

In his welcome address, the National Coordinator of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Major General Emmanuel Wekem Kotia, said the commission has over the few years in operation been engaging neighbouring countries to build the necessary relationships, goodwill and consensus to enable Ghana to live peacefully with its neighbours including La Cote D’Ivoire based on agreed defined International boundaries.

Stating the purpose of the meeting, General Kotia said the meeting will afford participants the opportunity to discuss pertinent issues on future joint activities in areas including the operationalisation and reaffirmation of land boundaries, implementation of the International Tribunal for the Law of Sea ruling between Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire, setting up of joint committees on maritime and land boundary issues among many others

The Executive Secretary of the La Cote D’Ivoire Boundary Commission, Mr Diakalidia Konate in his address expressed his profound gratitude to the Deputy Minister and the National Coordinator for the warm reception given to him and his delegation.

He said beyond colonial trajectory, the two countries are linked on many levels in history and, therefore, is hopeful that after the deliberations at the meeting, they would come to great conclusions that will further promote stronger cooperation between the countries.

He charged both parties to put in place a good framework to ensure sustainable solutions to the boundaries issues of both nations.

This Joint Ghana/La Cote D’Ivoire Introductory meeting is the first of its kind between the two National Boundary Commissions since the operationalisation of the Commissions of both countries.


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