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.
Background | Objectives | Outcomes | Participants | Contact & Documents
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:
Take stock of African achievements and progress made in identifying and determining African borders on the one hand, and the strengthening of cross-border co-operation on the other hand;
Share experiences related to funding cross-border co-operation initiatives;
Share experiences concerning institutional support to cross-border co-operation;
On this basis, prepare the Pan-African Ministerial Conference on Cross-Border Co-operation, to be held in Addis Ababa on 21 May 2007.
An initial text, including recommendations for AU member states was drafted. In particular, it highlights the following:
With a view to the concrete experiences carried out in the West African region, local cross-border co-operation initiatives are recognised as an effective tool for constructing a regional space;
Concrete legal and institutional mechanisms to facilitate cross-border co-operation;
Need to create regional cross-border co-operation funds, to be managed by Africa's regional economic communities.
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.