President Paul Kagame has called on law enforcement agencies across the continent and beyond to embrace cooperation and collaboration to deal with the increasingly sophisticated security challenges.
The President was speaking yesterday at the opening of the ongoing two-day third International Association of Chiefs of Police, sub-Saharan Africa executive policing conference under the theme, “Contemporary policing for a safer world,” in Kigali.
“It is evident that the security challenges of the 21st century are becoming increasingly sophisticated as well as global and require international collaboration to effectively combat them,” Kagame said.
“At the heart of our discussions here is the consensus that exists among the leaders and people of our countries that, individually, we can achieve a lot, but collectively, even more and we can develop even faster and more sustainably.”
The President said development can only take place on a foundation of law and order, so law enforcement agencies have a crucial role in ensuring peaceful conditions within which citizens can fully participate in the prosperity and well being of their communities.
He said it was important nations appreciated that with globalisation, security threats in one part of the world were more likely to have far reaching consequences beyond borders.
President Kagame said in this kind of environment, cooperation was imperative adding that law enforcement agencies had to be prepared for new roles that come with shifting circumstances.
“Our collective aspirations are to improve the livelihoods of our people; again, we can achieve this more effectively when we pool resources and efforts. In this regard it is pertinent to ask, do Police forces in Africa share the ideology of the nations and region they serve? How prepared are they to meet the challenges of integration and globalisation?” he posed.
Only when we develop the requisite skills, expertise and equipment and pool our resources and efforts for the shared benefits of our nations, he added, can there be effective responses to these questions.”
The president of IACP, Yost Zakary, urged the IACP member states to do more to ensure that international criminals and terrorists do not evade justice just because law enforcement agencies in different countries were unable to communicate.
“We must cooperate, share critical information timely and effectively. The exchange of ideas, investigation techniques and criminally related information among agencies of different nations is the only way we can hope to succeed in our anti-crime and anti-terrorism efforts,” he said.
Zakary challenged the participants to get past the differences in culture and origins to work against a common enemy.
“Despite the differences in our languages, cultures and even the laws we enforce, we must work together to prevail against our common enemies and fulfill our common mission. We can’t afford to fail in this effort,” he said.
IGP Emmanuel Gasana said globalisation and technological advancements have facilitated the emergence of new security threats and urged security heads to cooperate both at regional and international levels.
He lauded the recent founding of Afripol (the African Police Cooperation Organisation) during a meeting in Algeria, saying it was a great achievement by African Police chiefs that would put them in the range of other Police bodies outside the continent to combat transnational crimes.
The conference that brings together participants from 42 countries and organisations such as Interpol seeks to see signing memorandum of understanding and promoting cooperation and partnerships.
IACP was established in 1893 to advance policing by promoting enhanced practices, cooperation and exchange of information on the continent.