The National Coordinator of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Major General Emmanuel Kotia has assured Ghanaians that as far as boundary matters are concerned, there are currently no disputes between Ghana and any of its border countries concerning land demarcations and that he said is one of the key achievements that the Boundary Commission is proud of.
As their first appearance at the Minister’s Press briefing, Major General Kotia gave a brief history of the Boundary Commission by way of introduction to give the media a good idea of their duration and level of operation in Ghana and the border countries.
He underscored the importance of the Boundary Commission to the protection of Ghana, saying that in collaboration with the relevant Ghanaian security agencies, the Commission ensures the security of the borders of Ghana to safeguard the territorial integrity of the country at all times.
The Major General indicated that what the Ghana Boundary Commission is doing and will continue to do is reaffirmation which is always done jointly with neighbouring countries “No new demarcations are being done and the ones already done, were done successfully through negotiations” He continued.
He outlined a number of the activities carried out by the Commission, stating mapping exercises, multi-agency assessments, meetings with National Boundary, Commissions of Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria and Joint Technical meetings with same countries, assisting in boundary disputes resolution, cross-boundary governance and strategic policy framework among many others.
By way of mandate, the Major General explained that his outfit is also responsible for leading negotiations with neighbouring countries concerning land and maritime boundary disputes between Ghana and any of its border countries. He added that the Commission is undertaking physical demarcations of Land boundaries and the delimitation of maritime boundaries.
The National Coordinator noted that as part of their key strategic roles, they identify very deprived communities in the border areas and provide them, some basic social amenities. By this he announced that ECOWAS has approved some funds for the rehabilitation of a community school in one of these deprived border communities, stressing that “Our strategic role among others is to assist deprived communities”
He employed the opportunity to appeal to International partners, donors and various agencies who can support this agenda to come on board to help these deprived border communities get basic social amenities and also serve as a way of building their confidence.
On behalf of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, the Deputy Minister responsible for Lands and Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio who joined the Commission at the briefing announced 7th June 2023 as the African Border Day.
He said the Day which is commemorated annually on 7th June by African Union Member States in the context of the implementation of the African Union Border Programme (AUBP), aims at addressing the persistence of lack of delimitation and demarcation of African boundaries resulting in the creation of undefined zones; to facilitate and support the delimitation and demarcation of African boundaries; and to develop cross-border initiatives among AU Member States.
Addressing the media, he commended the Commission saying, “The Boundary Commission has been very active over the past three years. Under the able leadership of the National Coordinator, Major General Emmanuel Kotia, the Commission has been parading the length and breadth of Ghana’s boundaries ensuring that various mishaps along the country’s international boundaries are attended to”
He urged the media to help promote the Commission, noting that “as a relatively new institution, most Ghanaians do not know of the existence of the Commission. Those who do, do not know the exact mandate of the Commission and how different the Commission is from other border management institutions so do help push the agenda”