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02.04.2006 General News

Ghana, Burkina Faso to strengthen co-operation

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Tenkodogo, Burkina Faso, April 02, GNA - Ghana and Burkina Faso have lauded the existing administrative co-operation between them and the importance of promoting further integration for the benefit of their peoples and ECOWAS.

This was the outcome of deliberations between a delegation from the Upper East Region of Ghana and their Burkinabe Central East Region counterparts in the capital Tenkodogo, at the weekend. Mutual respect and recognition for the ECOWAS Brown Card, combating deforestation, fuel smuggling, human trafficking, collaboration in the energy sector, agriculture and food processing, and the promotion of exchange programmes among school children formed the basis of the meeting.

The Regional Minister, Mr. Boniface Gambila led the 35-member Upper East delegation while Mr. Jacob Ouedraogo, Governor of Central East Region, led the 61-member Burkinabe team.

Mr. Gambila expressed appreciation for the success of the Burkinabe's programme on reafforestation, crop and livestock production, despite the prevalent harsh geographical conditions in the area. "We are, therefore, optimistic that this visit would be an eye-opener for us, and pray also that you would make time to share your experiences with us."

In a joint communiqu=E9 adopted at the end of the working session, the two sides expressed satisfaction with progress made so far in the areas of security, movement of people and goods across their common border, and collaboration between health officials.

Both the Ghanaian and Burkinabe sides, however, called for more efforts in the fight against desertification in the two regions, cattle rustling, reduction in the number of checkpoints on the main Bawku-Tenkodogo highway and elimination of incidents of harassment of travellers by border personnel on both sides.

The Burkinabe side announced that by the end of April the Bittou checkpoint would be the only one between Bawku and Tenkodogo. The Ghana side also made it known that the number of checkpoints along the Accra-Paga corridor had been reduce to four. The communiqu=E9 endorsed the formation of joint committees for the effective implementation of decisions taken by both sides. They were, Committees on Security, Environment and Agriculture, Health, Education, Culture and Sports, Women and Children, Transport and Commerce.

They would meet quarterly and submit recommendations for consideration. A reciprocal yearly meeting between the two sides, in Bolgatanga and Tenkodogo, was also institutionalised. Mr. Sahanun Mogtari, Ghana's Ambassador to Burkina Faso, urged administrative authorities of the Upper East and Central East regions to pursue the implementation of agreements reached with commitment and at a sustained pace.

He pledged the cooperation of the Ghana Mission in Ouagadougou towards realisation of the set objectives.