ECCAS Border Programme: promoting border governance and regional cooperation

Project description

Title: Support to the ECCAS Border Programme (APF-CEEAC)
Commissioned by: European Union (EU)
Co-funded by: German Federal Foreign Office
Country: Supraregional
Lead executing agency: Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS); National border commissions; National ministries responsible for border issues
Overall term: 2020 to 2022

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Context

Border regions in sub-Saharan Africa are particularly frequently affected by conflicts because the boundary lines are either not clearly legally specified (delimitation), or are insufficiently marked with boundary stones (demarcation). 

In territorial ‘grey areas’, legal vacuums and conflicts over natural resources may arise. Arbitrary borders separate communities and families. The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) Border Programme was adopted with the aim of preventing conflicts and strengthening security and cooperation.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has been hindering border traffic since 2020 and is threatening the livelihoods of many people. In addition, border regions have been neglected in state crisis communication. 

Objective

Thanks to improved regional and national border governance, there is more peace, security and economic cooperation in the Central African region.

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Approach

The project is part of a European Union programme to strengthen the ability of ECCAS to act in the peace and security sector (PARCIC). It improves stability and democratic governance and reduces the potential for conflict as follows:

  1. Improving the ECCAS Commission’s ability to act: The project empowers ECCAS to assume responsibility for regional coordination and setting standards. This includes coordinating the border programme, monitoring and communication.
  2. Strengthening states and improving border governance: The project supports the states with developing and implementing strategies based on human rights, for example for cooperation, movement of goods, health care and pasture farming.
  3. Delimitation, demarcation and cooperation at pilot borders: The project supports the states with improving the definition of border sections and making them visible. Local cooperation plans and awareness-raising campaigns support the activities.

To combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the project is promoting regional agreements and raising awareness among the border population.

Last update: June 2021

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