The engagement, organized by the Ghana National Association of Cattle Farmers (GNACF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and sponsored by the European Union, focused on the theme “Challenges of Cross Border Transhuman.”
The meeting brought together various stakeholders, including traditional leaders, security agencies, the Ghana National Association of Cattle Farmers, Cattle Dealers Association, and Farmer Groups, among others from the three neighbouring countries.
Recent incidents of cattle rustling in communities such as Bongo-Soe, Sherigu, Naaga, and Nabdam in the Upper East Region led to protests and tensions, prompting the need for collaborative efforts among the affected nations.
Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, emphasized the importance of proactive measures to prevent the problem from affecting bilateral relationships among member states.
He identified the lack of effective collaboration among ECOWAS member states as a major issue and mentioned plans by the Upper East Regional Security Council to engage political heads of Burkina Faso and Togo to address the challenges.
The Regional Minister highlighted that the closure of ECOWAS country borders, implemented as part of measures to prevent violent extremism, has negatively impacted cattle trade and related commerce among member states.
Imam Hanafi Sonde, the National Chairman of GNACF, called for the formation of committees comprising security agencies, cattle farmers, cattle dealers, and farmer groups within Municipal and District Assemblies to address the menace effectively.
He stressed the importance of clearly defining the committees' operations and the sanctions for violations to identify and address issues promptly.
Dr Kwame Oppong-Anane, Chairman of the Ghana Cattle Ranching and Transhuman Committee of MoFA emphasized the seriousness of cattle rustling and insecurity across cross-border countries.
He advocated for a multisectoral approach to tackle the problem comprehensively.