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Akufo-Addo to GhBC board: Resolve boundary disputes with Ghana’s neighbours

Nana Akufo-Addo has tasked the board of the Ghana Boundary Commission (GhBC) to ensure that all land and border disputes between Ghana and other nations are resolved

President Akufo-Addo has charged members of the newly constituted governing board of the Ghana Boundary Commission (GhBC) to ensure that all existing land and maritime boundary disputes are resolved during their term in office.

The president said the African continent, over many decades, “has [experienced] and still experiences a number of interstate border disputes which have serious implications for the security of the countries involved”.

To this end, he said, every effort must be made to resolve disputes involving Ghana.

Swearing in the GhBC board at Jubilee House in Accra on Friday (15 October), Akufo-Addo said: “We are told by the Institute of Security Studies that African maritime boundary disputes, for example, unless resolved in a concerted and timely manner, will impair both the long- and short-term implementation of maritime policies and strategies. African states and stakeholders must prioritise boundary dispute resolution if a vital maritime economic development is to occur.”

The president added: “We still have a number of boundary disputes with our neighbours, both land and maritime. Thankfully none of these challenges has been violent.

“An extensive analysis of our borders, for example, shows numerous recorded cases of distractions at the boundary markings of our demarcated lands and maritime boundaries. This situation exposes us to security, economic and other developmental implications, including setting the tone for potential conflicts with neighbouring countries.”

Given these concerns, the president charged the new board to spearhead the amicable resolution of all existing border and maritime boundary disputes to avert any potential conflicts.

“There are also ongoing efforts to settle border problems with Burkina Faso in Paga, in the Kassena-Nankana district, and Sapeliga in the Bawku West District, both in the Upper East Region,” the president said.

“The vast amount of mineral resources along our borders including in the famous ‘Dollar Power’ in the Savannah Region, makes it imperative that we conclude these matters once and for all to forestall any potential needless conflicts.”

Response from chair

In response, the chairman of governors of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Samuel Abu Jinapor, noted that the Commission’s work is consequential to the peace and security of the nation.

He gave his assurance to the president that the board will live up to the task.

“We thank you for appointing us to this high office and we pledge our commitment and dedication to protect the interests of our nation in all border and boundary issues,” said Jinapor, who doubles as the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.

Members of board

The 14-member board includes Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Godfred Yeboah Dame, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dominic Nitiwul, the Minister of Defence, Lawrence Asangongo Apaalse, a representative of the Ministry of Energy, Nathaniel Amonoo Wilson, a representative of the Ministry of Transport, and Samuel Seth Passah, representing the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

The other members are Osei Bonsu Dickson, Esq, representing the National Security Council, Emmanel Philip Owusu-Boakye of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Michael Enam Dordor, FGhIS, for the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, Professor Jerry Samuel Yaw Kuma of the Ghana Institute of Geoscientists, Dr Bukari Ali, the minister’s nominee, Major General Emmanuel Wekem Kotia, national co-ordinator of the Ghana Boundary Commission, and a representative of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture yet to be nominated.

The Commission

The Ghana Boundary Commission (GhBC) exists to ensure that Ghana’s land, maritime and air boundaries are secured and managed effectively within the framework of international law, peace and security, as well as the African Union and Economic Community of West African States Protocols on African and Regional Integration.

The GhBC’s mission is to demarcate, delimit and manage Ghana’s international and internal boundaries, including settling boundary disputes by implementing national legislation and regional/international conventions on boundary management and cross-border co-operation in Africa.

The Commission’s goals are to determine and demarcate Ghana’s land boundaries and delimit the maritime boundaries of Ghana in accordance with accepted principles of international law, to protect and secure the interests of the Republic in determining and demarcating land boundaries and to delimit Ghana’s maritime boundaries.

Other goals of the Commission are to adopt international best practice in demarcating and delimiting Ghana’s land boundaries, to promote effective and efficient management of boundary demarcation and delimitation processes, and to ensure consideration of the interests of Ghanaians affected by placement of boundaries.

Wilberforce Asare

Asaase Radio 99.5 – tune in or log on to broadcasts online
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