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Parliament marks 14th African Border Day today

  Thu, 13 Jun 2024
Parliament Parliament marks 14th African Border Day today
THU, 13 JUN 2024 LISTEN

Parliament on Wednesday, marked the 14th African Border Day, which aims at sensitising stakeholders on the role of borders in promoting peace, security, and stability on the continent.

In line with the African Union's theme for the year 2024 of Education, the theme for this year's African Border Day celebration is “Educate an African Fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education Systems for Increased Access to Inclusive, Lifelong, Quality and Relevant Learning in Africa”.

Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, who read a statement on the floor of the House to mark the statutory commemoration, said: “As we mark the 14th African Border Day, we salute the hard work and dedication of all who continue to work tirelessly towards safe and secure boundaries in Africa”.

“Our special appreciation goes to the Ghana Boundary Commission, under the leadership of its Coordinator, Major General Emmanuel W. Kotia, and all their partners, for their invaluable contributions towards safeguarding our boundaries and promoting regional stability.”

Mr Jinapor reiterated the profound words of Ghana’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, that “Africa is one continent, one people and one nation,” and we must continue to inspire Africans, and lead them to recommit themselves to the ideals of unity, solidarity, and cooperation that underpin the African Union, while recognizing that their borders were not barriers to be feared but bridges to be crossed in pursuit of a shared future of peace, prosperity, and progress for all Africans.

June 7, every year, has been set aside to commemorate African Borders, to create awareness and celebrate the existence and significance of borders.

Since its inception in 2010, the Day has, also, been used to highlight the essence of the African Union Border Programme (AUBP) to peace, regional, and continental integration, as well as progress made in border management.

Mr Jinapor noted that following the adoption of the African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation, also known as the “Niamey Convention,” in June 2014, the Day had also been used to highlight the significance of the Convention, as a crucial framework for integrated border governance and cross-border cooperation.

“Mr Speaker, since the partitioning of our continent, beginning with the infamous Berlin Conference of 1884, Africa has been left with porous borders that have been the source of several governance-related conflicts in individual states and across regions,” he said.

“As we work towards building and promoting unity, peace, security and trade across on the continent we are reminded of the vital role of international boundaries in shaping our collective identity and fostering regional integration and cooperation.”

He reiterated the crucial significance of educating citizens, particularly those living along border communities, about the importance of land and maritime boundaries and their role as stakeholders for safeguarding our international boundaries.

Mr Jinapor said the Ghana Boundary Commission had, over the years, worked tireless reaffirm and safeguard the nation’s international boundaries, to ensure that Ghana's territorial sovereignty was always protected.

He said the Commission had led efforts to promote peaceful co-existence with our neighbours through regular sensitisation and cross-border activities with neighbouring countries.

The Minister said the work of the Commission in upholding international law to resolve boundary disputes through peaceful cooperation had been recognised across the continent, several other countries engaging the Commission to learn from them.

Speaker Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin remarked that borders were really barriers, but it was up to the Boundary Commissions to translate them into bridges.

He directed the Leadership of the House to fix a Committee of the Whole Meeting of the House with the Ghana Boundary Commission.

This, he said, was to enable the House to receive briefing on the activities of the Commission.

Mr Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister of Defence and New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla, in his contribution to the statement, commended the Ghana Boundary Commission for the good works they were doing.

He urged the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources to ensure that the Commission was well equipped with human resources.

Mr Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah, the Deputy Minority Leader, and National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Ellembele, reiterated the need for a borderless Africa.

Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, NDC MP for Banda, said the Ghana Boundary Commission Act 795 was passed by Parliament in 2010 under late President John Evans Atta Mills while the Commission itself was set-up under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

In attendance to observe proceedings of the House was Major General Emmanuel W. Kotia, Coordinator, Ghana Boundary Commission, and his team of staff.

GNA

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