Thursday, August 10, 2023
The National Assembly Committee on Defence, Intelligence and Foreign Relations chaired by Hon. Nelson Koech (Belgut) has been briefed on the AU Convention on Cross Border Cooperation (Niamey Convention) by the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs.
In a meeting between the Committee and officials from the Ministry, the members led by the Committee Vice chair Maj (Rtd) Bashir Abdullah (Mandera-North) heard that the convention aims at fostering cross-border cooperation and assure peaceful border dispute resolution.
While presenting before the legislators, Amb James Waweru who is the register of treaties at the Ministry stated the benefits of ratifying the Convention. He said that through the Convention Kenya will be able to reach resources sharing agreements across borders.
“Many natural resources cross borders. This could lead to violence in the countries that are yet to adequately delimit and demarcate their borders. The Convention provides an inclusive approach to share natural resources management that will benefit local communities and boost the country’s progress,” Mr. Waweru told the members.
Mr. Waweru told the members that the Convention will aid in the development of marginalized zones. He argued that border regions are typically less economically developed than interior regions and through agreements, employment and development the convention enables economic growth at the border.
The members asked the number of countries that had ratified the convention across the continent.
In his response Mr. Waweru disclosed that 18 out of 55 countries had signed the Convention and only six countries had ratified it. He further revealed to the Committee that 15 countries were needed to ratify the Convention for it to come into force.
Upon ratification of the Convention, Kenya will be required to commit to cross-border cooperation in the surveying of boundaries, socioeconomic development of borderlands and to cooperate fully in the implementation of the border program.