Remarks by Ambassador Stephanie Sullivan
Strengthening the Northern Borders of Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo
December 15, 2021
Good morning! Thank you all for being here today. U.S. Embassy Accra welcomes this opportunity to participate in the launch of the Regional Border Management Project – Strengthening the Northern Borders of Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, and Togo.
We’re partnering with various ministries and agencies of the Governments of and communities in Ghana, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire through our International Narcotics and Law Enforcement program, along with our implementing partner, the International Organization for Migration (IOM). We know that extremists aspire to spread the instability with which our northern neighbors are grappling. We know that borders can be porous, and that it’s all too easy for criminals to cross into Ghana illegally.
The regional border program will assist the three countries to control their borders, allowing the free flow of people and goods for legal and positive reasons and blocking or thwarting the flow of illegal goods, criminals and terrorists, as well as putting in place appropriate health measures.
As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently remarked: “criminal organizations are constantly adopting new techniques and making the most of new technologies.”
Transnational organized crime knows no borders. That is why it’s vital for Ghana to adapt and strengthen its borders, as well as to strengthen its cooperation with regional partners.
Under this three-year project, IOM will conduct joint border assessments with government officials that will result in improved infrastructure at key border crossings. The project will provide law enforcement personnel with the tools and training needed to carry out their work and to bolster the resistance of border communities through activities such as town halls and community health programs to raise awareness of potential health risks. Additionally, the project will facilitate cross-border coordination between the governments of Ghana, Togo, and Cote d’Ivoire.
This project complements other U.S. Government funded efforts in Ghana related to Border Management Integration. Coordination amongst the Ghanaian border and security agencies, and coordination between regional partners, are the keys to effective border security. We look forward to providing continued support to Ghana’s border security agencies and to seeing the successes of the efforts of IOM.
Thank you for your kind attention. We look forward to hearing about how it’s going.