African countries have been urged to pursue an effective policy of border demarcation/delineation as this will prevent disputes and open conflict.
Surveyor Musa Yahaya Ribadu, Director, International Boundaries of the National Boundaries Commission (NBC) told newsmen in Abuja that this would serve as a starting point for the successful integration of Africa.
He was speaking at the end of the review and planning workshop on the implementation of the African Union Border Programme (AUBP) in the West African region under the auspices of the German development agency (GIZ).
“African countries need to see the fact that proper demarcation will improve cross-border cooperation. This is a panacea to forestall territorial claims,” he said.
Ribadu also urged governments across the continent to give proper attention to border communities, so as to avoid a sense of alienation.
“Building efficient social/public amenities within border communities as well as enlightening them on the need to adopt security measures to safeguard lives and properties.”
Over ten countries – including host Nigeria – attended the three-day workshop which participants say is an affirmation of the Niamey convention of 2012.
They say it is vital to rally African countries to push harder for the political, security and economic reforms needed to advance African integration.
To this end, the German government through the GIZ has supported the border management of ECOWAS states for over a decade; it has promised to consolidate on this initiative by addressing the specific individual requirements of member-states from 2020 to 2022.