TITLE: Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism: The role of Civil Society and the Private Sector
DONOR: European Commission (EU) via International Centre for Migrations Policy Development (ICMPD)
DURATION: July 2022 – April 2024
LOCATION: National level and Paga, Hamale, Aflao, Elubo and Ashaiman
Activities of violent extremist organizations (VEOs) have led to a deterioration of security situation and increased forced displacement in the West African region, especially since 2012. The violent extremists’ activities and associated displacement of millions of people, which started in Mali, have now expanded to Burkina Faso, Niger, leading to what is now termed as the ‘Sahel Situation’. According to reports by Aljazeera (February 27, 2020), from February 2019 to February 2020 alone, more than 700,000 people were forced to flee their homes in Burkina Faso.
The United Nations Secretary General’s report, “Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism”, indicates how a lack of socioeconomic opportunities such as a failed effort by a country to create sustainable levels of growth, to create decent jobs for youth, reduce poverty and unemployment, improve equality, reduce and control corruption as well as the intergroup relations and human rights, makes a country more prone to violent extremism (Shtuni, 2016; UN, 2015). Although corruption cannot be singled out as an independent factor leading to radicalization and violent extremism, separate from the vast amount of direct, indirect and other contextual fact, It is important to note that corruption seems to be an important part of the narratives used in mobilization and recruitment of radical and violent extremist groups such as Boko Haram (Anaedozie, 2015; Hendrix, 2016, p. 6; Onuoha, 2014).
Ghana’s relative economic and political stability attracts volumes of voluntary and forced migrants from other West African countries (Tonah and Setrana, 2017). The increasing number of immigrants pose security threats to Ghana. About 45 land borders, in Ghana, are characterized by high levels of porosity, making the borders and residents vulnerable to threats such as trafficking of persons, drugs, small arms and light weapons as well as recent instances of terrorism (Lamptey, 2013). Ghana is also experiencing increased cases of corruption which is linked to insecurity and crime.
According to Transparency International (2021) civil society organisations (CSOs) including the media can play a crucial role in fighting violent extremism and terrorism through public education and the promotion of transparent and accountable public officials. In line with this, Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and the Centre for Migration Studies (CMS) of the University of Ghana secured funding support from the European Union through the contracting organisation - International Centre for Migrations Policy Development (ICMPD) to implement a 22-month project titled Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism: The role of Civil Society and the Private Sector.
The project, which will be implemented in 5 border aims to contribute to an effective, transparent and accountable border security management architecture in Ghana. The project has two specific objectives, namely:
- To promote and increase anti-corruption awareness/education, corruption reporting and case management mechanisms in 5 border communities in Ghana
- To increase collaboration between border control officials, the media, traditional and religious leaders and citizens against Violent Extremism and Terrorism in 5 border communities
- National Framework for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism (NAFPCVET) operationalised within the 5 border communities under the project.
- Community members, traditional and religious leaders sensitised and collaborating with various competent authorities to fight corruption, violent extremists and terrorists.
1) The project will introduce a Mobile App called ‘Eye on Corruption’ to the community members and all other stakeholders. The App will facilitate the reporting corruption, and any suspicious activities among the populace along the 5 borders where the project will be implemented - Paga, Hamale, Aflao, Elubo and Ashaiman.
2) The project will promote civil society and state security collaboration to resolve reported cases using the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) Steering Committee model. GII has a corruption reporting mechanism called Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC). GII’s ALAC has a steering committee is made up of representatives of all the Anti-Corruption Institutions in Ghana (Attorney General, Judicial Service, Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Economic and Organise Crime Organisation (EOCO), Ghana Police Service, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Registrar General and the Trade Union Congress (TUC). GII will expand the composition of steering committing to include Ghana Immigration Service and National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE). GII receives corruption reports and the cases are discussed and assigned to a competent authority from among the steering committee and the ALAC office follows up till a resolution is found.
3) The third strategy is the involvement of the media. Most of the media reportage on Violent Extremism and Terrorism have been largely speculative and innuendos. Getting the media on board will inform their public education. Some of the reports GII receives requires further investigation to generate evidence to substantiate or otherwise the report /allegations. In such situation, GII will assign the case to one of the 5 Investigative Journalists (IJ) which GII has trained and support. The IJs will then gather evidence to build a case. The outcome of the investigations is then forwarded to the authorities for further investigation, prosecution, and sanctioning where appropriate.
4) The project will further promote collaborations between key stakeholders for public education and early warning signs among others. This is aimed at complementing initiatives that has been started by various state actors such as Ministry of National Security (FUSION Centre), NCCE (Education/Sensitisation), Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and Ghana Police Service (GPS).
The project will be implemented in 5 border fringe communities, namely Paga, Hamale, Aflao, Elubo and Ashaiman across five districts.
The project beneficiaries will be groups under direct beneficiaries and indirect beneficiaries even though the outcome of the project the peace and stability of Ghana.
The direct beneficiaries include: five border communities including women and children, migrants and travellers that use the borders, border control personnel, and the community media, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and their Chief Executives who chairs the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Security Councils.
The indirect beneficiaries include Border control officials and NCCE, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and Faith-based Organisations among others.
- Centre for Migration Studies
- National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE)
- Community Radio Network and Media Network of migration Journalists
- District Assemblies within the 5 border communities
- Traditional Authorities
- Ministry of National Security – Fusion Centre
- Ghana Immigration Service
- Customs Division of the GRA
- Ghana Police Service
1.1 Organise meetings with traditional and Religious Leaders and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) in the 5 selected Border Communities
1.2 Hold media discussions about the relationship between corruption, free movement of people and goods and Violent Extremism
1.3 Organise 1 meeting in each of the 5 border communities with key persons and identifiable groups to discuss NAFPCVET and the contribution of the project to the Preventive and Pre-emptive function of NAFPCVET
1.4 Organise bi-annual training on anti-corruption in each of the community for border control personnel
1.5 Organise public forum of a least 100 participants in the 5 communities on corruption reporting, role in controlling the use of illegal routes for border crossing
1.6 Organise quarterly meetings for the expanded ALAC Steering Committee to discuss cases and assign roles for case resolution
1.7 Develop and disseminate Information, Education and Communication (IE&C) materials
1.8 Develop a manual for community engagement on Violent Extremism and Terrorism
1.9 Organise a national forum on Free Movement of People and Good, Corruption and the Peace and Stability of the State
1.10 Undertake Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning trips to the 5 border communities
1.11 Conduct exist study to document the level of knowledge and involvement of citizens in the fight against violent extremism and terrorism
1.12 Organise a learning and close out meeting for all key collaborators
3.0 Contact Persons
For enquiries about the project kindly contact the Programmes Manager, Mary Awelana Addah, on 0244375793 / email: email@example.com. or the Project Coordinator, Jacob Tetteh Ahuno, on 0540821164 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org.