GID DG laments  obstacles in ensuring  effective border  management 

Jan 31, 2022, 12:33 PM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

The Director General of The Gambia Immigration Department (GID) has lamented that his institution had been grappling with a weak border management system due to lack of necessary skilled human resource, proper border infrastructure and the requisite technical equipment necessary for the implementation of an effective border management system. 



Seedy Motary Touray was speaking recently during the official inauguration of Sabi Migration Data and Analysis System (MIDAS) Immigration Post in the Upper River Region. The activity conducted under a project titled “Enhancing Capacities of The Gambia’s Local and Central Governments to Manage Borders and Contribute to Trade Facilitation, Community and Economic Development”. 

The project is being funded by the People of Japan and jointly implemented by the International Organisation for Migration and The Gambia Immigration Department as the lead government agency. 

DG Touray recalled that since 2018, the Government of Japan has been funding the implementation of very successful Immigration and Border Management (IBM) projects that are primarily geared towards addressing the challenges in border management.

“Part of the activities of such projects was the conduct of a very successful border assessment which culminated in to the development of a Comprehensive border assessment report. This report gave us a good insight of the then state of affairs of our border management system and as well as the monumental task that lay ahead in our efforts to improve it.” 

He noted that most of the major land borders were renovated, equipped with modern furniture and state-of the-art office equipment, series of capacity building trainings for the border personnel, enhancement of the border patrol with the provision of a good number of motorcycles and a patrol vehicle. Also the establishment of the inter-agency border coordination committees to help in coordination and create synergy between different border stakeholders; among many other significant activities were all conducted through the various projects. 

“The most significant activity undertaken through these projects was the establishment of the Migration Data and Analysis System (MIDAS) at key land borders of the country including Sabi. This system has the capability of collecting, processing, storing and analysing traveller information in real time and across an entire border network by capturing both the biographic and biometric information of travellers.” 

He indicated that travel documents that are scanned in the system are equally examined under sophisticated security lights to test their authenticity, saying the MIDAS greatly enhanced the efficiency and accuracy of the Immigration border management especially of monitoring those entering and exiting the national territory while equally providing a sound statistical basis for migration policy-related planning for the government. 

DG Touray disclosed that efforts are also in the offing to connect the MIDAS system to the Interpol i24-7 database, thereby adding the national security element.

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