In December 2020, the IIJ was pleased to participate in the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Capacity-Building in the East Africa and West Africa Region Virtual Workshop on Border Security Management (BSM), a joint initiative of the GCTF’s East Africa and West Africa Working Groups.
Although convened virtually due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic, the workshop was well attended with representatives from Algeria, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, India, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Yemen, and the European Union. GCTF Members and partner countries were joined by representatives of more than 13 international organisations, including: African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT), African Police Cooperation Organisation (AFRIPOL), Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), Frontex, Institute for Security Studies (ISS), International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), INTERPOL, Sahel Fusion and Liaison Unit (UFL), and UN agencies.
The workshop had two central objectives. Firstly, to assess the current state of border security management and regional cooperation in East and West Africa, including regional and international responsibilities in the field of border security management, good practices and successful strategies, and factors detrimental to effective border security management. Secondly, participants addressed specific needs and measures to overcome identified obstacles to effective border security management in the regions. The importance of enhanced regional cooperation on border security management was a central theme throughout the workshop, as was the need to implement existing international obligations. The workshop consisted of plenary sessions and smaller break-out group discussions, the results of which will be translated into concrete actions to define the way forward.