Press Releases


ECOWAS Calls for Enhanced Cooperation and Innovation to Combat Evolving Threats

11 Jun, 2024

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security, Amb. Abdel-Fatah Musah, represented by Dr. Abdourahmane Dieng, Permanent Secretary of WAPCCO, emphasized the critical need for regional police chiefs to adapt and collaborate in addressing complex security challenges during the West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) technical sub-committee meeting held on 6th of june in Abuja, Nigéria.


The Commisioner Political Affairs, Peace and Security highlighted the impact of evolving information technology on the sophistication of crimes. He stressed the necessity for security and law enforcement agents to adapt to the dynamic nature of cyberspace, which criminals exploit to conduct illicit activities more efficiently and safely. Furthermore, it was underscored that the illicit traffic and proliferation of small arms and light weapons, human smuggling activities, armed robbery, illicit migration, child trafficking and labor, kidnapping, abduction, and maritime piracy are but a few of the main issues trending in our region”. He urged participants to share, exchange, and discuss issues surrounding training and operations to develop joint strategies for enhancing security personnel’s capabilities.


The Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, called for greater collaboration and innovative approaches among West African police chiefs to address the emerging and complex security challenges facing ECOWAS. This call was made during the WAPCCO technical sub-committee meeting on training and operations. Egbetokun highlighted the increasing complexity of national security challenges within the West African subregion, exacerbating transnational crimes. He emphasized the urgent need for member states to bolster their national security capacities, particularly in cyberspace, to counter the activities of cybercriminals who exploit the differences in legal frameworks and legislative systems across the region.


“Our security reality continually deepens the need to commit to regional collaboration, towards dissecting the pattern and trend of crimes on the one hand, and towards pulling together and supporting each other in bridging our national security gaps,” Mr Kayode Egbetokun stated. He enumerated various traditional and emerging crimes, including theft, cross-border robberies, human trafficking, drug trafficking, smuggling of small arms and light weapons, banditry, and terrorism, which pose significant threats to national security and regional peace. Mr Kayode Egbetokun also noted the rise of cybercrime and cyber-enabled crimes as formidable challenges to the subregion’s security.




The Director of the Interpol Regional Bureau in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Mrs Paule Ouedrago, reiterated the necessity of collaboration to combat the transnational nature of crimes. She pledged the Regional Office’s support through international police cooperation and called for stronger collaboration between the Permanent Secretariat of the Committee of Police Chiefs and her office in organizing and implementing police training and operations. “This is how, together, we will succeed in dismantling and disrupting the criminal networks that undermine our tireless development efforts,” Mrs Paule Ouedrago affirmed.


The meeting concluded with a shared commitment among ECOWAS member states to strengthen regional partnerships in training and enhance operational integration among security forces and border management agencies to effectively address the multifaceted security challenges in the subregion.

Member States