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The opening of the Training of Trainers workshop on Roll-out of the Ecowas Regional Border Management was held at African Regent Hotel in Accra today.

Mrs. Adelaide Annon-Kumi the Chief Director for Interior read the speech on behalf of Hon. Ambrose Dery who is the current Minister for Interior and she emphasized,"l am excited to be part of all this important Training of Trainers workshop on the Ecowas Regional Management Training and free Movement Manual and it's Trainers Guide.

The rationale for forming ECOAWS,which is a borderless West Africa, still remains relevant and that is the more reason why the call for member countries to show commitment to the call for a borderless Region to give effect to the free movement of person. In as much as, all member countries believe there are a lot of socia-economic benefits to be derived from ECOWAS, Implementation of some of the protocols have not been successful implemented as member states would have wished.
"She said,"

 Undoubtedly, the success of ECOWAS is hinged greatly on it flagship protocol, ie Free Movement of persons, Right of Residence and Establishment, which is aimed at encouraging free mobility of persons and goods within the sub-region through the elimination of obstacles to free movement by member States. This protocol has indeed led to the adoption of other related initiatives by member states including the abolition of entry visas, resident card  use of standardized ECOWAS Travel certificate, Usage of ECOWAS passport and the implementation of the Brown card Motor Vehicle Insurance Scheme.

Ghana, as a Member state of ECOWAS and also in line with His Excellency, president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo's commitment to facilitate free movement of goods and person within the ECOWAS sub-region, Ghana has began a 24 hours border opening at our major borders, namely, Also, Akanu-Nuepe, Paga and Elubo. Also, a number of minor border post along the eastern border namely, Have, Batume junction, Kpolo and Agortime Afegame have been opened for operations.

Additionally, the ECOWAS  joint Border post at Akanu-Nuepe on the eastern border was jointly opened by president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and president Faure Gnassingbe Eyadema of Togo."

According to her, whilst it is good to applaud the sucesses derived so far from the implementation of the protocol on free movement, we cannot lose sight of its attendant dangers.

The recent attacks by insurgents in Mali, Cote D'Ivoire and recently Burkina Faso and also the perpetuation of organized crimes by nationals of other countries in host Member states is an attestation of the threat and therefore will require collaborative efforts from Member states and the international community to fight the canker. To this end, the ECOWAS Commission need to be commended for partnering with ICMDP, EU, and IMO to organise this workshop. I have been reliably informed that this is the 1st in the series of three Workshops for selected Trainers of border officials ( Immigration Officers,border Police) from ECOWAS member states and will focus on training techniques for border management and free movement in a regional context whilst laying the foundation for the organization of a step-down training at the national level. I  also informed that each Training session will bring together 30 participants.

Your Excellency, it is refreshing to know that, the training will be done using the ECOWAS Training curriculum and trainers guides as reference materials thereby making it more relevant and appropriate to suit our domestic needs. Border Management is critical in the overall success of this protocol and therefore requires a harmonized and standardize techniques for officers who man these borders."

She said,in Ghana, the border patrol Unit of the Ghana Immigration Service has been provided with additional logistics and their capacity built for effective and efficient patrol of the boarders. To further boost border control and security, a secured Border Management system (SBMS) has been installed at the Kotoka International Airport to facilitate passenger processing and information security. I am therefore imploring participants to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge that they would acquire from this workshop to aid them in their work of training others and also in the development of a step-down training at national level."

Story by: Kofi Dwumah

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