8 - 9 March 2007
The Commission of the African Union (AU) organised, in collaboration with the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC) and the National Borders Directorate of Mali (DNF), a meeting of African experts on the establishment of an AU Border Programme at the continental level.
In 2006, the African Union decided to launch a Border Programme at the continental level, drawing on the experience and achievements of the SWAC and the ECOWAS Cross-Border Initiatives Programme (CIP) in West Africa. The AU Border Programme aims to actively promote local cross-border co-operation initiatives as a tool for accelerating regional integration processes. The Commission of the AU requested the SWAC to be a member of a pilot group, providing support to the AU in the setting-up of this programme. The SWAC invited representatives of the “Association of European Border Regions" (AEBR) to participate in the meeting.
The Bamako meeting aimed to:
An initial text, including recommendations for AU member states was drafted. In particular, it highlights the following:
The meeting brought together about 50 participants coming from all African regions (representing various Ministries for Regional Integration, regional economic communities, etc.). Experts from Europe, regional and international organisations also participated in the Conference.