Parliament has adopted the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs on African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation Niamey Convention to promote cross-border cooperation, ensure peaceful resolutions of border disputes and would promote and ease free movement of persons and goods.
The Niamey Convention is designed to promote cross-border cooperation in six core areas, which are: Mapping and geographical information sharing; Socioeconomic development; Cultural activities and sports; Security, especially combating cross-border crime, terrorism, piracy, and other forms of crime; Demining of borders and Institutional development.
The objectives are to seize the opportunities arising from shared borders and address the related challenges; ensure efficient and integrated border management; Promote peace and stability through the prevention of conflicts, the integration of the continent and the deepening of its unity; Facilitate the delimitation, demarcation and reaffirmation of the interstate borders, in conformity with mechanisms agreed upon by the parties concerned;, and to ensure peace and security at the borders which would help facilitate trade and movement of people to drive sustainable growth and development on the Continent.
The African Union since its adoption of the Convention, seeks to support Member States in their efforts to improve border management and governance.
The African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation was laid in Parliament on 25th October, 2022, and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs for consideration and report, pursuant to Standing Order 182 of Parliament.
The African Union Convention on Cross-Border Cooperation (Niamey Convention) was one of the seven (7) legal instruments adopted at the Assembly of the Union’s Twenty-third Ordinary Session held on 27th June, 2014 at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
The Niamey Convention aims to facilitate the peaceful resolution of border disputes at both local and international levels. It also seeks to promote effective and efficient integrated border management to serve as a catalyst for development and economic growth among Member Countries.
The Niamey Convention is indicative of the African Union’s recognition of the important role that good border governance plays in ensuring peace, security and sustainable development. The recognition was also demonstrated at the 1964 Cairo Summit that underscored the need to prudently address the fundamental issues associated with the historical legacy of colonial borders and the attendant disputes within the continent.
It has been observed that boundary disputes and conflicts remain one of the major challenges confronting the African continent. It is estimated that only a third of the borders in Africa are properly delimited and demarcated.