W/Africa intelligence chiefs meet to combat all forms of security threats

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Heads of intelligence services from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are currently meeting in Banjul to devise new mechanisms designed to detect and combat all forms of national and regional security threats.

The Banjul confab is part of preparations for the grand meeting of heads of intelligence services from across Africa.

The two-day meeting, hosted by the State Intelligence Services (SIS), was staged in partnership with the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA). It is being held on the theme; Abuse of Cyberspace as a challenge to national, regional and international peace and security; Need for awareness.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ousman Sowe, director general of State Intelligence Services, said the meeting would enable them to exchange ideas and share knowledge, experiences, saying it also has the real and potential benefits to enhance national security, regional, continental and international peace and security.

‘Indeed your attendance is reassuring, as it reaffirms confidence and trust in the SIS. To the SIS, your show of confidence is profound as we continue to reform, restructure, redirect, recalibrate, reset and reposition the SIS, as The Gambia’s prime intelligence service’.

DG Sowe assured that the SIS today at both home and abroad is more responsive and proactive to the security needs of the state and human security of the citizenry under the full democratic dispensation.   

“We also remain alert to our responsibilities to regional and international peace,” he added.

DG Sowe added: ‘I must also add that for the fact that the SIS is able to host, for the first time, an important meeting of this type, given a little over a month’s notice is enough testimony to the level of maturity, professionalism and receptiveness to the security sector taking place under the New Gambia.’

Shimeless Semayat, executive secretary of CISSA, applauded the SIS of The Gambia for the hospitality extended to the visiting delegations since their arrival, saying these efforts and show of professionalism speak volumes of their unwavering commitment and dedication to CISSA both at the continental and regional levels.

He also hailed the commitment and political leadership of The Gambia in placing the country firmly on the path to democracy, economic reconstruction and institutional renewal.

Declaring the meeting open, Ebrima Sillah, the minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, described the meeting as timely and could not have come at a better time when there is greater need than ever before for closer collaboration and cooperation among Intelligence Services in West Africa: to detect and combat all forms of national and regional security threats; real or imaginary.

“Over the years, West African states have made significant gains in consolidating regional peace and stability but the emergence of terrorism and other forms of organized crimes are posing new threats; which require collective regional efforts to confront these menaces head-on,” he said.

As part of these strategic efforts, Minister Sillah added that it was critical to put in place robust intelligence gathering mechanisms that focus on collection of critical information on resilience, information sharing, analysing and processing for duty bearers to make informed decisions and to take quick actions to protect and save the society from chaos and wanton destruction.

Author: Sheriff Janko