- Experts at the just ended two-day workshop in the Burkinabe capital Ouagadougou have endorsed the report on the functionality study for the erection of border posts in West Africa.
The project whose architectural components are estimated at €66 million will ease the free movement of people and goods and services in the region. Seven border posts - three in hinter land countries and four on the Lagos-Abidjan corridor were identified by the study.
Having treated various presentations on functionality study of the joint border post concept, participants considered procedures, configuration of joint border posts, elements of agricultural programmes and pre-conditions necessary for the success of the project.
Experts urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa (UEMOA) to ensure the realization of the joint border posts.
They also called for the accelerated implementation of the provisions of relevant legal texts, including the 29th May 1982 ECOWAS Inter-State Road Transit (ISRT) Convention which, among others, aims to facilitate the movement of freight at the borders.
The EU-funded project, which forms part of the regional transport facilitation programme being implemented by ECOWAS and UEMOA, aims to facilitate crossings at the borders by speeding up formalities that would help conditions for a borderless region.
Senior officials of ECOWAS and UEMOA - Comla Kadje and Ibrahim Tampone - both reiterated the importance of the transport facilitation programme, particularly the joint border posts project. They decried the tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and stressed the importance of inter-state transit of goods.
The joint border posts are expected to facilitate crossings at the borders by speeding up the formalities which would help enable conditions for a borderless region. The project is part of the regional transport facilitation programme being implemented by ECOWAS and UEMOA, and funded by the European Union.
West Africa's transport facilitate programme includes institutional support in terms of capacity building of ECOWAS and UEMOA, definition, development, analysis of policy and strategy, among others.
Its other components involved rail, maritime, air and road sectors, which all aims to increase intra-community trade, help transit West Africa into the global economy and promote regional integration in more practical ways.
During studies, experts assess the environmental, social and economic impact and the definition of the institutional and operational mechanisms necessary for the creation of joint inspection border posts. Resettlement and compensation policy plan of the displaced persons who would suffer losses was also considered.
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