By Tabora Bojang
The director general of the Gambia Immigration Department has disclosed that since the launching of the migration multi partner trust fund by the UN and other partners, a lot of developments were registered in the quest to improve immigration and border management practices in The Gambia, including installation of a modern migration information and data analysis system which is connected to the Interpol i24\7 database across 7 strategic border posts.
Seedy M Touray was speaking at the inauguration of the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at the land borders of Darsilameh and Misira in the West Coast and Lower River regions over the weekend.
He said the system (MIDAS) has the capability to collect, process, store and analyse traveller information in real time and across an entire border network by capturing both biometric and biographical information of travellers.
According to DG Touray, the system will also enable the department to more effectively monitor people entering and exiting Gambia, while providing a sound statistical basis for migration policy-related planning.
The DG charged that migration is deeply rooted in Gambia’s history as it continues to be a country of origin, transit, and destination, thus presenting the country with challenges that require development of comprehensive policies such as the National MIgration Policy and the GID Strategic Plan 2019-2024 to harness the benefits of migration, contribute to national development and enhance national security.
The GID, he added, was contending with weak border management systems due to lack of the necessary skilled human resource, proper border infrastructure and requisite technical equipment which among others hindered provision of proper and reliable migration data necessary to inform policy decisions.
“With the excellent relations that happily exist between us and our very strategic development partner the IOM, a lot of developments were registered in our collective quest to improve our border management system. These developments were achieved through the implementation of various immigration and border management projects,” DG Touray stated.
He explained that among the achievements registered include development of a comprehensive border assessment report, construction and renovation of major land borders equipped with modern furniture and state of the art office equipment, series of capacity building trainings for border personnel, enhancement of our border patrol with the provision of motorcycles and a patrol vehicle and the establishment of the inter-agency border coordination committees to help in coordination and create synergy between different stakeholders.
The IOM interim chief of mission, Stephen Matete, said the project will continue to work closely with the local communities in Darsilameh and neighbouring Senegal to continue fostering peaceful coexistence and social cohesion through dialogues, social mobilisation and support for community livelihoods initiatives all geared for greater peace and security.