By Jackson C. Clay, Jr.
The Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its partners is undertaking a four (4) day free border management training for forty (40) officers.
The training which is currently taking place in Gbarnga, Bong County began Monday, August 6, 2018 and is expected to benefit forty officers of the LIS from various border entry points across the country
Speaking during the opening of the training, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) Project Officer, Esene Mathias, said the training is intended to Support Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM).
Mathias said FMM aims at maximize the development potential of free movement of persons and migration in West Africa by supporting the effective implementation of the ECOWAS Free Movement of Persons’ Protocols and the ECOWAS Common Approach on Migration.
“In line with the ECOWAS aspiration for regional integration, the FMM Project has supported the ECOWAS Commission to develop a Regional Border Management Training and Free movement End User Manuals,” Mathias said.
He further indicated that the Manuals aim to provide ECOWAS Regional tools to enhance the capacities of border operatives and other government officials in achieving a more harmonized border management throughout the region and support the full implementation of the ECOWAS Free Movement protocol.
Mathias asserted that this Border Management training Manual took stock of existing initiatives across the West African region and international best practices, thus, the emerging trends and peculiarities of the West Africa migratory landscape and reflects the current operational practices and strategies to enhance service delivery.
“The Free Movement Manual covers the notion of free movement in a broad sense, that is, not only the right of entry, residence and establishment, but also the civil, economic and social rights necessary for its realization,” Mathias stressed.
The ICMPD Project Officer indicated that based on the focus of the training, the four-day national step-down training is targeted at the officials of the Liberia Immigration Service to deepen their understanding on how to achieve a uniform border management and free movement regime.
He disclosed that the activity would be implemented across the 15-member states of ECOWAS to harmonize all the operational procedures that exist in the Region.
He at the same time indicated that the idea to support the Liberia Immigration Service and the other immigration and border control entities of the 15-member states followed from the three Regional Train the Trainer’s (ToT) workshops for selected Trainers of border organized in Accra, Abidjan and Dakar.
Mathias stated that the activity is being supported under the Demand Driven Facility (DDF) implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) within the framework of the EU-ECOWAS funded FFM Project.
For his part, the Deputy Commissioner for Operations and Acting Commissioner for Operations, col. Aaron Camu who represented the LIS boss, Col. Lemuel Reeves urged officers of the training to take seriously the training
Commissioner Camu told the officers that there is not knowledge that is gain is wasted and encouraged them to share the knowledge with their colleagues upon their return at their various assign areas.