“One of our main challenges in the field of border management is sharing information among various agencies. This kind of training is very effective to strengthen communication”, Mr. Mathew Yegon, an officer from Kilindini Border Management Committee (BMC) stated after the training in Ukunda, Kenya. The training, supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) through the Better Migration Management Programme (BMM) was attended by Border Management Committee members from the Old Port, Lunga-Lunga, Shimoni, Kilindini and Vanga, and sought to improve the operation of border points and to improve coordinated management.
“Our activities should be synchronized and coordinated. Once we are working together, we achieve greater results as border operators” Dr. Ahmed Omar, Head of the Border Management Secretariat (BMS) stated during his opening remarks. He stressed that this is not only the case amongst border points but that communication among the Border Control and Operations Coordination Committee (BCOCC), BMS and BMC is also paramount.
The border officers that participated in this three day training (five female and fourteen male) are members of: Kenya Port Authority, National Intelligence Service, Port Health, Department of Immigration Services, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Bureau of Standards, National Police Services, Department of Fisheries and Veterinary Services.
The post-training assessment showed that the participants gained a more comprehensive knowledge of migration issues with an increase of about 20% on the average test score compared to the pre-training assessment results.
The topics of the training included conceptualization and operationalization of coordinated border management in Kenya, sharing experiences and challenges in implementing, border community engagement, goods movement and concealment of contrabands, human trafficking and smuggling, terrorism and migration management, stress management at workplace, integrity and border security, and change management.
The training was part of the Better Migration Management programme (BMM) which aims to improve migration management in the region, and in particular to address the trafficking and smuggling of migrants within and from the Horn of Africa. The programme is funded through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) of the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It was developed as a response to the needs identified by the African countries of the Khartoum Process.
BMM is supporting the governments of the Horn of Africa to improve the capacities in integrated border management in order to facilitate the easy movement of people among partner states. In Kenya, BMM/IOM is providing trainings for the members of the Border Management Secretariat (BMS) at all 34 border crossing points.
BMM is active in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. The programme is implemented by a partnership of European and international organisations (British Council, CIVIPOL, Expertise France, GIZ, Italian Department of Public Security, IOM, UNODC) in four components: Policy and harmonization, capacity building, protection, and awareness-raising.
Through the BMM programme, the IOM has, to date, supported Kenya with three trainings on document examination, fraud detection, countering human trafficking and smuggling (65 immigration officers trained) and three trainings on Coordinated Border Management (for 65 border officials from the Border Management Committee).