Germany attended 4th Conference of African Ministers in Charge of Border Issues

From 3 - 6 October, African Ministers met to discuss border issues, such as integrated border management, demarcation and delimitation of African borders, at the seat of the African Union in Addis Ababa. Being the biggest donor of the AU’s border program, the German government was invited to speak at the 4th Conference of African Ministers in Charge of Border Issues in the Nelson Mandela Hall. Matthias Schauer, Deputy Head of Mission of the German Embassy, represented Germany in the morning session of 4 October.

Border Management is an integral part of the prevention of conflict and crisis in Africa. Border areas tend to be the most fragile areas of a country, where security concerns such as organized crime, terrorism, illegal trafficking of people, arms, narcotics and dangerous goods, migration, and local cross border conflicts arise. On the other hand, when borders are defined and respected they enable peaceful and profitable relations among neighboring states, allowing for regional integration and socio-economic growth in both countries. The African Ministers at the Conference will endorse the „African Union Border Governance Strategy” which aims at improving border management and securing borders on the continent.

Germany has supported the AU Border Programme since 2008 with a total amount of 37 Mio Euro (until 2018) and is therefore the biggest donor of this important activity.  So far, with German support, 2579 km of African borders in over 20 countries such as Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, the Comoros, Togo and the Seychelles have been demarcated. Another 1000km of demarcated borders will be added until 2018. Next to the concrete demarcation of borders, Germany has supplied the African Union with historical documents on borders, such as treaties, maps and reports.