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Boundary issues with neighbouring countries setting the tone for potential conflicts — Akufo-Addo worries

Headlines President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
OCT 15, 2021 LISTEN
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo thinks the dispute between Ghana and some neighbouring countries over boundary issues could explode if care is not taken.

That, he said was because “an extensive analysis of our borders for example shows numerous recorded cases of distractions at the boundary markings of our demarcated lands and maritime boundaries.”

This situation, according to the President “exposes us to security, economic and other developmental implications including setting the tone for potential conflicts with neighbouring countries” and that “we (referring to Ghana) still have a number of boundary disputes with our neighbours, both land and maritime.”

Thankfully however, he noted that “none of these challenges have been violent.

Based on these concerns, President Akufo-Addo has charged the Governing Board of the newly constituted Ghana Boundaries Commission (GhBC) to spearhead the amicable resolution of all existing border and maritime boundary disputes to avert any potential conflicts in the future.

This was when he swore in members of the Governing Board of the Commission which is chaired by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor this afternoon.

“We are told by the Institute of Security Studies that African maritime boundary disputes for example, that, unless resolved in a concerted and timely manner, will imperial both the long and short term implementation of maritime policies and strategies”, he noted with concern.

To that end, he stressed the need for African States and stakeholders to prioritize boundary dispute resolution, if a vital maritime economic development is to occur.

Meanwhile, he indicated that “there are also ongoing efforts to settle border problems with Burkina Faso in Paga, in the Kassena-Nankana district, and Sapeliga in the Bawku West District, both in the Upper East Region.”

“The vast amount of mineral resources along our borders including in the famous dollar power, in the Savannah Region, makes it imperative that we conclude these matters once and for all to forestall any potential needless conflicts”, he emphasised.

On his part, Chairperson of the Governing body of the Ghana Boundary Commission said their was consequential to the peace and security of the nation.

He therefore assured the President that the Board will work hard to protect Ghana’s territorial integrity.

Members

Members of the Commission includes Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Godfred Yeboah Dame, Attorney – General and Minister for Justice, Dominic Nitiwul, MP, Minister for Defence, Lawrence Asangongo Apaalse, representative of the Minister of Energy, Nathaniel Amonoo Wilson, representative of Ministry of Transport and Samuel Seth Passah, represebtive of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

The rest are Osei Bonsu Dickson, Esq, representing the National Security Council, Emmanel Philip Owusu-Boakye, Ghana Revenue Authority, Surv. Michael Enam Dordor, FGhIS, Ghana Institute of Surveyors, Prof. Jerry Samuel Yaw Kuma, Ghana Institute of Geoscientists, Dr. Bukari Ali, Minister’s Nominee, Major General Emmanuel Wekem Kotia, National Coordinator, Ghana Boundary Commission, and a representative of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture yet to be nominated.

The Boundary Commission

Ghana Boundary Commission (GhBC) exist to ensure that Ghana's land, maritime and air boundaries are effectively secured and managed within the framework of International Law, Peace and Security, and the African Union (AU) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocols on African and Regional Integration.

It has as its mission to demarcate, delimit and manage Ghana's international and internal boundaries, including settling boundary disputes through the implementation of National legislation, and Regional and International Conventions on boundary management and cross-border cooperation in Africa.

The goals of the Commission are to determine and demarcate the land boundaries of Ghana and delimit the maritime boundaries of Ghana in accordance with accepted principles of international law, protect and secure the interest of the Republic in determining and demarcating land boundaries and delimiting maritime boundaries of Ghana.

Other goals of the Commission are to adopt international best practices in the demarcation of land boundaries and delimiting of boundaries of Ghana, Promote effective and efficient management of the boundary demarcation and delimitation processes and ensure consideration of the interest of Ghanaians affected by the placement of boundaries.

---DGN online

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