By Bajin D. Pobia
Accra, Sept. 27, GNA – Mr Albert Kan-Dapah, the Minister of National Security, has called for effective collaboration and cooperation between civil society organisations (CSOs) and state security agencies to eliminate all security challenges.
He said the collaboration and cooperation should allow state security agencies and the CSOs to work towards finding solutions to security challenges that confronted the West Africa Sub-region.
“This is the time when effective collaboration and cooperation of all key stakeholders most critically needed to secure security for all in society”, the National Security Minister said.
Mr Kan-Dapah made the call at a two-day workshop on Ghana Border and Security Management held in Accra.
It was on the theme: “The Role of CSOs in Ghana’s Border Security Management”, and with the objective to develop linkages between strengthening the Border Security Ghana Project, the National Security Ministry and other stakeholders.
He said the Sahel and the entire West Africa Sub- region was going through difficult moments in the history of terrorism and violent extremism and the devastating impact of the threat of terrorism and violent extremism on the country was overwhelming.
He noted that some countries in the Sahel and West Africa had been overrun by terrorists attacks and the situation had affected the socio-economic development and impeded the efforts of governments in improving the livelihoods of citizens.
He said the growing expansion of terrorists’ activities in the sub-region to gain access to the coastal countries was looming and commended the security agencies for working relentlessly to preserve the peace in the country.
“The roles of the government, CSOs and other stakeholders are grounded on unity of purpose and efforts to enhance social cohesion, tolerance, national security and stability must be accomplished”, he said.
“State actors have a lot to do, but they should not think or believe that they can do it alone. They needed the active support and participation of CSOs and other institutions’ involvements in all that they do”, he added.
Mr Kan-Dapaah, however, pointed out that issues of security should be planned and held in secrecy not to expose strategic national security plans and programmes to “our opponents who would take advantage of our exposure to plan ahead of us to our own detriment”.
He tasked the CSOs to involve the people living along border communities in the formulation; development and implementation of good strategic security plans.
He also urged them to support the youth with skills to become self-reliant and as well provide social amenities and other opportunities to discourage them from terrorist-influence incentives to become radicalised.
The National Security Minister encouraged the CSOs to take active interest and work to eliminate issues of land and chieftaincy disputes that heighten tension and had the potential to create conditions, which could be advantageous for terrorists to exploit.
Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) in collaboration with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) organised the forum for 90 stakeholders drawn from selected CSOs, the media, development partners and Migration Policy makers and Implementers.
The participants held discussion on Ghana’s approaches to preventing violent extremism and terrorism and training on public education on violent extremism and terrorism.
The Strengthening Border Security in Ghana (SBS Ghana) project is funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa, and implemented by ICMPD in cooperation with the Ghana Immigration Service.