President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday inaugurated the 13-member reconstituted Board of the Ghana Boundary Commission (GBC), urging the body to ensure the speedy demarcation of the country’s land and maritime borders to stem conflict with Ghana’s neighbours.
Chaired by Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, the Board includes Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Gloria Afua Akuffo, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Dominc Nitiwul, Minister for Defence and Solomon Adjetey Sowah, representative, Ministry of Energy.
The other are Paulina Susuana Naa Darkua Addy, Representative, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Nathaniel Amonoo Wilson representative, Ministry of Transport, Sylvanus Kofi Adzornu representative, Ministry of Local Government, and Tangkpieo Benedict Dere, representative, Ministry of National Security.
The rest are Francis Tanlongo, representative, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service, Michael Enam Dordor, Representative, Ghana Institution of Surveyors, Prof. J. S. Y. Kuma, representative, Ghana Institution of Geoscientists and Dr. Eric Yeboah representative, Academic Institution.
At short ceremony at the Jubilee House, Accra, President Akufo-Addo noted that over the course of several decades, the African continent, had and still experienced a number of inter-state border disputes, which had serious security implications for the countries involved.
He made reference to findings by the Institute of Security Studies which stated that African maritime boundary disputes were less resolved in a concerted and timely manner, and that African states must prioritise boundary disputes to resolution, if a vital maritime economic development was to occur.
“Indeed, we in Ghana for five years was embroiled in a maritime border dispute with our western neighbours Cote d’Ivoire and the ripple effect on our economy was felt”
The President underlined that the proper demarcation of Ghana’s boundaries with its neighbours was essential for the future socio-economic development of the country and, “That is why the reconstitution of the Board of the Commission is of the utmost importance”.
The Ghana Boundary Commission came into being by an Act of Parliament, Act 795, accented to in April 1970 and duly Gazetted in March 26, 2020.
The Act mandates the Commission amongst others, to determine and demarcate Ghana’s land boundaries and de-limit the country’s maritime boundaries in accordance with accepted principles of international law.
The Act enjoins the Commission to negotiate with Ghana’s neighbours concerning land or maritime boundary between Ghana and that country, undertake the physical demarcation and survey of land boundaries and the de-limitation of maritime boundaries, advice government on international conventions in connection with the country’s borders and the signing and ratification of treaties related to land and maritime boundaries.
President Akufo-Addo urged the Board to promote a more effective management of the boundary demarcation and de-limitation process and adopt international best practices during the exercise.
“As a newly constituted Board, in accordance with Act 975, the Ghanaian people demand that at all times their interest,” he said, optimistic that the members of the Board would bring the expertise to bear in the discharge of the Commission’s mandate.
“The task ahead of you is a challenging one…it is my expectation and hope that you would be up to it. You have my full support to undertake the measures required to enable you succeed,” he said.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh expressed the appreciation of the Board to the President for the confidence reposed in them, saying, the body would ensure that the Commission functioned as the law required.
He requested certain immediate reliefs to enable the Commission function effectively as soon as possible.
These include office accommodation and furniture, vehicles for field operations and administration, employment of required staff to run the Commission, technical equipment for border demarcation, mapping and de-limitation, and salary for at least 50 employees to undertake the exercise.