International Relations Expert, Adib Saani pointed out that Ghana is not prepared to initiate unrestricted border access to other African nations
This follows an indication by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, where she suggested in a statement that Ghana is contemplating visa-free travel for all Africans and individuals of African descent living in the diaspora.
Speaking in an interview on Campus Exclusive, Adib Saani explained that by giving unrestricted access to other African countries in present times could jeopardize the country’s security.
“Well, Ghana is in a very difficult situation right now, you know the issue of terrorism. According to the Global Terrorism Index, the Sahel region, was the most impacted region in the training 2022 by terrorism, accounting for 44% of global terrorism attacks. Burkina Faso our immediate neighbor is the world’s second most impacted country after Afghanistan in 2022 by terrorists. So when we open up, we might have challenges and one of the top challenges would be security.”
He suggested setting up robust and effective security systems in the country before giving access to foreigners to counteract terroristic threats.
“We would need a robust system in place where countries can share real-time intelligence on the movements of persons from one Jurisdiction into another. We would need to build state institutional capacity to counter the threats, we would need the population to be very much part and parcel of it. That is why I’m so much in favor of see something, say something. We need to put all of these structures in place to be able to ensure that we don’t have any serious security challenges to opening our borders.”
Adib Saani however highlighted the significance of transforming Africa into a visa-free continent to enhance the continent’s collective unity and increase its growth and development.
He pointed out that this initiative will facilitate trade, with a particular benefit for cocoa farmers in Ghana who have expressed concerns about the government’s low purchase prices for cocoa products.
“Well, [going visa-free] means growth, which means progress. It means unity because Africa has a large youth population. And when you take a closer look at the median population of Africans, it is about 15-19 years. That shows that we have the manpower capability. And so, when we come together, we are able to have a very strong voice internationally and we are able to get into much more mutually beneficial deals.”
Story by: Mabel Antwi | univers.ug.edu.gh