The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, responsible for Lands and Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu-Bio has on Monday, 20th November, 2023 officially opened a 3-day Experience Sharing Workshop on the Development and Operationalization of National Boundary Structures, with a call on Member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Ethiopia to embrace the power of mentorship as a means to create legacies.
The Deputy Minister in his address explained that Mentoring is a strategic reciprocal relationship for passing on knowledge, wisdom, and guidance from the experienced to the aspirational and vice versa and therefore entreated participants to make the most of this great opportunity by actively sharing ideas for the betterment of each state present.
He added that they must all ensure that the lessons learned by predecessors are not lost but rather shared and built upon. “It is by embracing the power of mentorship that we create an environment where wisdom and innovation which transcend the bounds of our individual experiences can flourish”. He continued.
Hon. Benito noted that the workshop is a crucial milestone in the continent’s effort towards achieving the tenets of the African Union Border Programme which he said primarily aims at addressing the lack of demarcation and delimitation of African Boundaries, resulting in disputes along the international boundary lines.
He was of the view that Africa is at a very crucial stage in its developmental drive where the existence of borders serving as barriers instead of bridges for sustained socio-economic growth and development threatens to render useless, all efforts made by the continent to change its developmental narrative.
In view of the narrative, the Deputy Minister expressed his excitement over GIZ choosing Ghana Boundary Commission to host the maiden session of this mentoring and exchange visit on National Border Commissions and National Border Policies which will in on way or the other help in “Creating the Africa We want”.
On behalf of the Sector Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, the Deputy Minister extended sincerest appreciation to AUBP/GIZ and the various partnering ministries, agencies, and institutions of the Ghana Boundary Commission for their immense contributions towards the success of the workshop, notably the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the Attorney General’s Department; the Ghana Armed Forces, the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, the Ghana Immigration Service, and a host of others he also acknowledged.
On her part, the Deputy German Ambassador to Ghana Her Excellency Sivine Jansen, opined that the German Government puts premium importance on the projects of such calibre as their office exerts very strong emphasis on crisis prevention and thereby sponsoring this workshop.
She hoped that after this experience sharing workshop, participants will be able to fashion out tailored mitigation solutions to boundary issues facing each member states and help stabilize their countries and communities with the information acquired.
In his welcome address, Major General Emmanuel Kotia, the National Coordinator of the Ghana Boundary Commission stated the objectives of the workshop which he said is to contribute to the strengthening of the capacities of Boundary Commission of the targeted states for Decision- Making on border/boundary governance.
Major General Kotia also outlined the expected results of the workshop ro include among others;
a. Putting together experiences and operating a national boundary structure assessed from different dimensions.
b. Discuss lessons learnt from the workshop and make proposals for what should be changed/reinforced in the participants own National Boundary Structure to align to international best practices.
c. A consensus and an appeal to have across the continent well-resourced national boundary institutions in order to fulfil their mandates effectively and efficiently.
The workshop, sponsored by the German Government, (GIZ) and hosted by the Ghana Boundary Commission drew Participants from five Member States of the Southern African Development Community and Ethiopia. These Member States include Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe.