Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources responsible for Lands and Forestry, Benito Owusu-Bio, has called on the people of Kpedze, Honuta and adjoining communities in the Volta Region, to approach the third Phase of the joint land boundary reaffirmation exercise between Ghana and Togo with commitment to ensure the proper management of the common international land boundary between Ghana and Togo.
Delivering a speech, he emphasized that the responsibility for maintaining Ghana’s boundary markers does not solely rest with the Ghana Boundary Commission and the Land Boundary Commission of Togo. However, he noted that “each one of us here today has a role to play in this process”.
“That is why we are involving Chiefs, Opinion Leaders and stakeholders present in the joint reaffirmation process through this sensitization programme.”Benito Owusu-Bio
Highlighting the purpose for the important exercise, Mr Owusu-Bio indicated that the Joint Ghana/Togo land boundary reaffirmation, and community sensitization exercise, aligns with the mandates of the Ghana Boundary Commission and the African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation.
He further noted that “the purpose of the sensitization exercise is to educate and inform every member present about the importance of maintaining and safeguarding our common boundaries”.
“Education is key to dispelling fears and promoting a shared vision of a peaceful and prosperous future.”Benito Owusu-Bio
Furthermore, Mr Owusu-Bio explained that the exercise also serves as a platform to empower population along the community borders and stakeholders with knowledge on the implications and benefits of boundary reaffirmation; and how it can contribute to the overall well-being of communities and states.
Requirement of Ghana, Togo in fostering boundary peace
The deputy lands minister was equally of the view that the exercise demonstrates the commitment of Ghana and Togo towards fostering peace, understanding, and good neighborliness.
Additionally, he expressed that the exercise will involve the identification and survey of boundary pillars along the stretch to be covered.
The first two phases of the reaffirmation exercise, Mr Owusu-Bio indicated, were undertaken in Aflao/Lome, Deme/Bagbe, and Bagbe-Agotime in 2022 and in May this year, respectively. Thus, he noted that the groundwork for the joint reaffirmation from Agortime Afegame to Wli Afegame has already been laid.
“Owing to the similarities that define us as a people, the boundaries that define our nations ought to serve as bridges that connect our people, our values and our histories; and not walls that separate us. As we embark on the Third Phase of this exercise, let us reflect on the broader significance of the work to be undertaken.
“This meticulous process is not just about lines on a map; but more about creating a foundation for mutual respect, cooperation, and harmonious co-existence between our communities.”Benito Owusu-Bio
Moreover, Mr Owusu-Bio expressed optimism that the third phase of the Ghana/Togo land boundary reaffirmation exercise will be a beacon of cooperation and goodwill for the entire region and the two countries involved.
He also indicated that the third phase of the continuous exercise shall cover approximately 100 kilometers of the International Boundary Line, from Agortime Afegame to Wli Afegame and its adjacent communities within the territory of the Republic of Togo.
Subsequently, Mr Owusu-Bio emphasized that in the coming days, technical personnel from Ghana and Togo will work closely with, the community, to address concerns, answer questions.
Among other things, he highlighted that they would ensure that everyone is well-informed about the entire process, noting that their earnest participation and contribution in this dialogue and the process of re-affirmation is invaluable, as they are dire to the success of the exercise.
To this end, the deputy lands minister commended both Commissions for their dedication towards ensuring the proper management and safeguarding of the Ghana/Togo boundary and also encouraged them to continue the good work.
He further urged all, especially the rulers, opinion leaders, and residents to accord officials of both Commissions from Ghana and Togo the maximum support during the exercise.