The Ghana Boundary Commission (GhBC) has pledged to help resolve the long-standing maritime dispute between Ghana and Togo through negotiations to pave the way for exploration of resources in the Keta Basin.
According to the National Coordinator of the commission, Major General Dr Emmanuel Kotia, the negotiations which had been going on for years now were progressing steadily.
“We are hoping that once all the issues are resolved, the Keta Basin which is very close to the international maritime boundary will open up for various exploration activities, and for the fisherfolk to continue with their livelihood activities,” he said.
Major General Kotia was addressing journalists at the Minister’s Press Briefing in Accra yesterday to apprise the general public of the commission’s role in securing international land and maritime boundaries of the country.
Present was a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu-Bio, officials of the Immigration Service, the military and other stakeholders.
Major General Kotia also highlighted the progress of work so far between his outfit and Cote d’Ivoire in the implementation of a ruling of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS).
He said the two countries were cooperating at various levels to ensure that the tenets of the ruling were adhered to, adding that discussions had so far been fruitful.
“We have undertaken a number of inspections along the international boundary line and the land terminus pillars, and there are no violations along the boundary line as outlined by the ruling of ITLOS,” the coordinator added.
The ITLOS ruling in 2017 ensured that Ghana kept its oil concessions, as well as continued with the development of the Tweneboa, Enyira and Ntome (TEN) oil fields.
He said the implementation remained crucial for peace, security and greater cooperation between the two countries, hence the need to ensure that all joint reaffirmation exercises were done in accordance with international laws and in conformity with the principles of the AU.
Major General Kotia further said that the commission recognised the roles of border communities in national security, as well as the risks they posed when they were underdeveloped and also lacked the requisite understanding of associated risks.
The African Union Convention on Cross Border Cooperation (Niamey Convention), he said, encouraged the development of border communities to allow for free movement of persons and goods for socio-economic development.
He said in line with this, the commission had initiated some activities, including the facilitation of access roads, to “Dollar Power” community in the Bole-Bamboi District in the Savannah Region as well as an ongoing construction of a school at Leklebi Kame, a community along the international land boundary line in the Volta Region with funding from ECOWAS.
The coordinator also said that a number of legacy documents had been retrieved with the support of some agencies, and that the documents had been of tremendous help in the negotiation process.