Officials of the two Boundary Commissions in a group photo with dignitaries
THE GHANA and Côte d’Ivoire Boundary Commissions have held a technical meeting in Accra to strategise on how the two countries can come together and effectively manage their common land and maritime boundaries.
The meeting is the second to be held since the formation of the joint technical committee tasked to work for the common benefit of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, urged the participants to consider the emerging security threats confronting the West African region in their deliberations.
He said it was important for both countries to jointly manage their boundaries by intensifying the safeguarding of territorial integrities of both countries.
He opined that due to the many similarities the two countries shared, it was essential to deliberate on issues fundamental to their welfare, unity, peace, and most importantly, security.
“Such high levels of dedication are crucial for the management and preservation of our shared common boundaries,” he commended.
He also expressed the hope that the two-day meeting would facilitate the further strengthening of existing collaboration between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire towards the implementation of future joint cross-border activities, as well as address identified challenges along the common boundaries of the two countries.
Ivorian Ambassador to Ghana, Tiemoko Moriko, said the meeting was to help both countries find a common ground on deliberations and strengthen their bilateral relationship.
“I really hope that after this meeting, we will arrive at an acceptable solution because I believe we are one nation. We share the same cultural values, religion, and heritage, among others, and this should strengthen our boundaries even better,” he said.
National Coordinator of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Major General Emmanuel Wekem Kotia, said the commission has been engaging neighbouring countries to build the necessary relationships, goodwill and consensus to enable Ghana live peacefully with its neighbours including Côte d’Ivoire based on agreed defined international boundaries.
General Kotia said the meeting would afford participants the opportunity to discuss pertinent issues on future joint activities including the operationalisation and reaffirmation of land boundaries, the implementation of International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea ruling between Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, setting up of joint committees on Maritime and Land Boundary issues, among many others.
He noted that the two countries would be aiming at coming out with a blue print to address current challenges of common land boundaries. That, he said, included the “destruction of boundary pillars and landmarks along our common international boundary line.”
“We shall also be aiming at providing guidelines for early warning mechanism on all issues that can endanger our good relations that currently exist among our border communities by jointly undertaking sensitisation and other cross-border developments and programmes,” he added.
Executive Secretary of the Cote d’Ivoire Boundary Commission, Diakalidia Konate, entreated both parties to put their shoulders to the wheel and put in place a good framework to ensure sustainable solutions to the boundary issues, and also help achieve joint successes.
BY Jamila Akweley Okertchiri