Regional workshops for the development of the National Integrated Border Management Policy of Côte d’Ivoire (PNGIF-CI) started on Thursday with a view to providing the country with a framework of reference in terms of governance of the Ivory Coast within a few months. borders.
These regional workshops scheduled from October 13 to 27, 2021 are held in Abidjan (South), Abengourou (East), Korhogo (North) and Man (West). At the official opening in Korhogo (633 km north of Abidjan), the Executive Secretary of the National Border Commission of Côte d’Ivoire, Diakalidia Konaté reminded participants of the issues and challenges at the Ivorian borders.
According to Mr. Konaté, there is first of all the issue of border governance where in most cases, state actors work in a compartmentalized manner, with a lack of information sharing and sometimes adopt competing positions. , even rivals, while they must interact for a better functioning of State services and a better orientation and coordination of the actions of local and regional authorities, for the benefit of the well-being of the populations.
It is a real dysfunction that the Policy under development must correct, he said, stressing that there is then the question of cross-border cooperation.
In this regard, Diakalidia Konaté indicated that the new vision of the African Union (AU) through its Borders Program, takes cross-border cooperation out of its usual framework to extend it to all areas. Thus, all state services and all social, economic and cultural activities at borders henceforth form an integral part of cross-border cooperation.
In this context, in addition to the initial development action of local and territorial communities, we can cite security, the management of natural resources, the mobility of people and goods through migration, transport and trade, health issue with the management of diseases, epidemics and animal epizootics, etc.
“It is the good mastery of all these questions that will allow us in the long term to make our borders real bridges to lead to the integration of our countries and the sub-region”, continued the Executive Secretary of the National Commission of Borders of Côte d’Ivoire.
Finally, there are issues related to social cohesion and peacekeeping in the border areas of countries. Indeed, in these areas, said Mr. Konaté, “these are the same populations that we have on both sides of our border lines”.
This is why, Mr. Konaté further explained, “despite the delimitation of our borders, which is a first guarantee of peace, it is important to consolidate and strengthen local societal, social and cultural dynamics, to maintain social cohesion. and peace ”.
The National Policy for the Integrated Management of Land, Air and Maritime Borders of Côte d’Ivoire aims to transform border areas into spaces where state and non-state actors interact harmoniously, at the national level on the one hand, and with their counterparts in neighboring countries on the other hand, where the management of shared natural resources is beneficial and sustainable for the good of the populations.
All this, with a view to making cross-border cooperation an essential lever of security, social cohesion and peace, sustainable management of natural resources and genuine socio-economic development of border and cross-border areas.
“I would like to encourage you to give the best of yourselves by highlighting our civic commitment and our common desire to see our country join the concert of nations where it is good to live”, Mr Konaté launched to the participants.
Clearly, according to him, “there is no taboo subject”. “You are at this workshop to tell us your concerns, make suggestions and really say what you expect from the State, each at their level of responsibility, for a better development of our border areas”, concluded Diakalidia Konaté. The Korhogo workshop, the opening of which was chaired by André Ekponon, prefect of the Poro region, is scheduled from October 14 to 16, 2021.
Prefectural and administrative authorities as well as local elected officials in border areas, defense and security forces, technical services (health, education, agriculture, livestock, energy, etc.), community leaders in border areas, the private sector through the Chamber of Commerce and civil society organizations take part in this workshop, the work of which takes place in three committees before plenary sessions.
The National Policy for Integrated Border Management of Côte d’Ivoire aims to provide the country with a “tool for framing and steering in terms of border governance, with a view to enabling Côte d’Ivoire to tackle a new shift in the approach and management of its land, air and sea borders ”.