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ECOWAS quickening integration with joint border posts

Pursuant to the recognition that full regional integration would be a mirage without the removal of trade barriers, ECOWAS is intensifying efforts at creating joint border posts for seamless checks.

The effort is in aid of the protocol of free movement of persons, goods and services in the region.

The joint border posts also have the advantage of serving as a platform for the implementation of measures aimed at simplifying customs procedures while increasing cooperation and coordination of border controls.

The opening of the joint check post at Noepe on November 3, 2014 on the border between Togo and Ghana is a big testament to the fight against harassment, extortion and bad practices along the corridors just as it would encourage the sharing of data and information in aid of the  fight against fraud.

The checkpoint, located forty kilometres from Lomé, the Togolese capital, is also expected to facilitate border formalities between Togo and Ghana in the context of regional protocol on easy movement which constitutes one of the pillars of the regional integration process.

By the calculation of regional leaders, the ECOWAS joint border posts would facilitate the effective implementation of regional policies, backed up by strong regional institutions and the birth of adequate regional infrastructure.

ECOWAS citizens can hope to smile in the days ahead because of the expected rise in trade facilitation through the combination of joint and simultaneous clearance activities in one place. This ultimately leads to the achievement of economies of scale, including reducing the transit time of people, goods and services as well as transportation and transaction costs.

Ghanaian president and ECOWAS chairman John Dramani Mahama, his Togolese counterpart, Faure Gnassingbé, and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Désiré Kadré Ouedraogo, were on hand for the opening of the Noepe model.

Standing at a cost of more than 10.287 million euros, the Post is part of the Regional Transport Facilitation Programme adopted by the 26th Conference of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS held in Dakar, Senegal, in 2003 and for which the EU made a donation of approximately 63.8 million euros. Other joint border posts are billed to be unveiled in the days ahead.




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