ECOWAS to build Joint Border Post (JBP) between Ghana and Togo

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has launched a project to begin the construction of a Joint Border Post (JBP) between Ghana and Togo at Noepe in Togo.

The project forms part of ECOWAS’ programme for smooth transport and commuting interlinks among member states.

Noepe is about 30 minutes drive from Lome, Togolese capital and links up Ghana at Akanu Border Post, terminal of a branch of multi-million dollar highway under construction from Accra.

The main artery terminates at the Ghana-Togo border at Aflao.

The European Union is funding the Noepe project and two other JBPs between Nigeria and Benin (Seme-Krake), Benin and Niger (Malanville), at a total cost of 37,083,363 Euros under a support deal for ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU).

Mr Claude Maerten, EU Ambassador and Head of delegation in Ghana, said the motivation of the EU was to see ECOWAS member-countries integrate.

He said the deal was under a transport facilitation project in West Africa in the areas of road, railways, maritime and aviation sectors and also capacity building.

Mr Maerten said the 8.8 million Euros or GH¢17 million Noepe project would result in faster movements of goods and services across the frontiers to reduce the cost of transacting business by about 25 per cent.

Mr Maerten observed that regional integration, which thrived on peace among nations, represented the major ingredient in promoting regional trade.

Mr David Kamara, Director of Transport and Telecommunications, ECOWAS Commission, said the programme was devised after a detailed study involving ECOWAS members and development partners.

He said the three border projects, with plans for an additional four, should help to curtail the functional difficulties in inter-state travels and associated transiting hassles across the West-African sub-region.

Mr Johnny M. Kwadjo, Ghana’s Ambassador to Togo, who represented Alhaji Mohammed Mumuni, Ghana’s Foreign Minister, said the project was timely and would boost trade across the borders.

He said besides business, the removal of the cumbersome procedures would facilitate the crossing of ordinary border area dwellers to meet their social commitments.

Mr Kwadjo observed that transport, telecommunication and energy sectors were critical to regional integration and that the Government of Ghana would support and promote all efforts to ensure its success.

Mr Mawussi Djossou Semodji, an official of the Togolese Ministry of Economic Planning and Finance, lauded the project, saying it would strengthen the bonds of friendship between Togo and Ghana.

The elaborate ceremony attracted scores of border officials including Customs and Immigration officers from Ghana and Togo and was characterized by dancing and drumming by groups from the two countries.

ECOWAS documents, which quoted Mr James Victor Gheho, President of the Commission said: “We intend to liberalize the Intra-Community movement of citizens so that they can avail themselves of the opportunities in the region to create jobs, contribute to the improvement of the economy and generally improve the welfare of the citizens”.

Source: GNA

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