US to provide continuous support to address Ghana’s security concerns

By
Lydia Kukua Asamoah, GNA

Accra, Jan. 22, GNA
– Ms Stephanie S. Sullivan, the United States (US) Ambassador, said the US will
continue to support Ghana to address the security concerns in the era of
extremism and increased insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.

She said the
Security Governance Initiative (SGI), being implemented by Ghana and the US,
and in other five African countries, was a critical intervention to, among
other things, help the countries to improve security at their borders and
within their justice systems.

Kenya, Mali, Niger,
Nigeria and Tunisia were the other countries who also signed unto the SGI at
the US – Africa Leaders’ Summit held in August 2014.

Speaking at the
opening of the Sixth Security Governance Initiative Steering Committee Meeting
in Accra on Wednesday, Ms Sullivan said the current era required collaborations
among countries and learning from both good and bad experiences to guide the
future.

She said in many
countries, porous borders allowed for trafficking of persons and drugs,
negatively affecting countries and households, while the justice system faced a
daunting task of matching punishment to crimes and providing justice for all.

She said the United
States, therefore, “shares Ghana’s concerns” about issues of security, which
also reinforced the importance of working together to attain the goals of the
SGI.

Ms Sullivan said the
National Border Fusion Centre, inaugurated earlier Wednesday morning, would
help in coordinating activities of the SGI and make decisions and informed
actions in a timely manner.

She commended Ghana
for making great strides for building resilient institutions, saying that under
the SGI, best practices would be built upon to entrench sound security
practices.

Mr Joshua Kyeremeh,
the National Security Coordinator, said the rise in piracy and cybercrime as
well as terrorism made it necessary for Ghana to strengthen its collaborations
among the security agencies, the borders and territorial waters.

He said the
Government had also prioritised four security areas; cyber security, maritime
security, border management, and administration of social justice, all in the
attempt to ensure broader national security and economic stability.

Ghana was also in
the process of finalising the National Integrated Maritime Strategy, National
Cyber Security Policy, and Strategy for Cabinet and Parliamentary endorsements.

Mr Kyeremeh called
for sustainable funding for the SGI Secretariat to enable it to implement its
strategies as the initial five-year lifespan of the Initiative elapsed.

Mr Michael Arietti,
the Head of U.S. Delegation, Security Governance Initiative – Ghana, said the
Initiative was aimed at improving the effectiveness of Ghana’s security sector
and enable the conditions for national prosperity.

“The central
objective was to look beyond train-and-equip programmes and focus on the
institutional reforms necessary to make truly sustainable improvements in the
security sector,” he said.

Under the SGI, the
United State of America had provided more than $35 million to Ghana to
strengthen border, maritime, and cyber security, as well as to improve the
administration of justice.

It had provided
technical assistance, supported study visits to the US and Kenya, and conducted
trainings and workshops at the strategic and operational levels, while
providing material support.

In an earlier media
pre-brief and a question and answer session, addressed by Mr Michael Arietti,
Ms Sullivan, and Mr Osei Bonsu Dickson, Ghana National Coordinator of the SGI,
Ghana was assured of various collaborative measures to ensure security for all
her people.

Mr Dickson said;
“The country is currently safe and we are doing everything possible to ensure
that we are all safe”.

GNA