The Economic Community of West African States Commission (ECOWAS) says the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) centre in The Gambia will effectively address the fundamental issues that undermine human security in the country.
The regional body made this known at the opening of the centre in Banjul, the country’s capital.
The WAPIS programme aims to address the security challenges faced by West African countries by enabling effective collection of police information through a centralised national, regional and international system.
Funded by the European Union (EU), through the ECOWAS, the WAPIS programme’s objective is to create national police data systems in each ECOWAS member state, including two non-ECOWAS states: Mauritania and Chad.
At the regional level, the WAPIS system is expected to facilitate the sharing of data between member states; while at the international level, beneficiary countries will have the opportunity to exchange police data via the International Police (INTERPOL) secure communication system.
The ECOWAS Special Representative to the Gambia, Vabah K Gayflor, maintained that no nation thrives in prosperity and development with the absence of peace, security and stability.
‘With the WAPIS data collection and registration centre…, The Gambia law enforcement agencies will now make maximum utilisation of the relevant qualitative and quantitative data to effectively and efficiently address the fundamental issues that undermine human security in the country’, she said.
WAPIS data centres are already operational in Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria.
‘In the framework of the WAPIS programme, six training sessions on the use of the system were already organised and 72 persons trained from the participating agencies’, ECOWAS said in a statement.
‘These were followed by the deployment and installation of 40 workstations in the capital area at the premises of the various law enforcement agencies, including police, immigration and the Drug Law Enforcement Agency (DLEA)’.
Photo source: ECOWAS