The Head of the Kenya Border Management Secretariat (BMS), Dr. Ahmed Omar, has challenged various Government agencies manning the country’s border points to strengthen their cooperation in order to realize a fully integrated border management system.
Dr. Omar urged the border officials to work in a coordinated fashion for effective border management to succeed.
He made the remarks on 22 March 2017 at the beginning of a two- day training workshop in Busia, a border crossing point on the main road connecting Kenya with Uganda.
The workshop brought together 25 border officials from various agencies in Western Kenya, including the Kenya Revenue Authority, National Police Service, National Intelligence Service, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Port Health, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, and Immigration.
“We are working in silos and some are resisting change. Citizens want to deal with Government as a single entity, not a plethora of individual institutions,” he told the border officials from Busia, Malaba, Suam and Lwakhakha.
He pointed out that BMS will enable the Government to efficiently address strategic issues across all relevant border management agencies. Dr. Omar cited several challenges facing BMS, among them legislation inadequacies, different agency capacity, multiple lines of accountability, different organizational structure among others.
The Busia-Uganda One Stop Border Post (OSBP) is one of the busiest border posts in East Africa with hundreds of
vehicles and people crossing every day.
IOM IBM Kenya Programme Manager, Etsuko Teranishi- Inoue said IOM will continue to work with the Government of Kenya in enhancing border and migration management.
The workshop deliberated on various relevant issues touching on OSBPs and the integrated border management approach, cross border community engagement, concealment of contraband, terrorism, and corruption, among others.
The training is aimed at enhancing inter-agency coordination by building the capacity of Border Management Committee (BMC) members to provide effective border management services at their respective border points.
BMS was established under the Border Control and Operations Co-ordination Committee (BCOCC) in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government (MoICNG) as a result of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act, 2014, and the Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act, and it became operational in early 2016. BMC is the operational body of the BCOCC at all border points in Kenya.
IOM facilitated similar trainings for BMS/BCOCC members in Naivasha in December 2016, and thereafter enabled a cascading training in Migori last February targeting BMC members from Muhuru Bay, Mbita and Isebania.
The Workshop was organized by IOM through the project “Improving Capacities to Manage Borders in Kenya” and funded by the Government of Japan.