In a commendable display of commitment to regional security, the Gambia Police Force has emerged as a key player in the recent discussions of the West African Police Information System (WAPIS) and Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) Steering Committees.
Led by Deputy Commissioner of Police Pateh Bah, who serves as the WAPIS Single Point of Contact (SPOC), the delegation actively participated in two crucial meetings held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
The first of these meetings was the 3rd AFIS Project Steering and Coordination Committee, convened on November 14, 2023.
This gathering, conducted in collaboration with INTERPOL, the European Union Commission (EU), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, centered on evaluating the progress of the ongoing AFIS Project and devising strategic plans for future endeavors.
Notably, the AFIS Project stands as a pivotal element within the broader framework of the WAPIS Programme.
Simultaneously, on November 16, 2023, the Gambia Police Force delegation actively engaged in the 9th session of the WAPIS Programme Steering Committee.
This session, held in collaboration with INTERPOL, the EU Commission, and ECOWAS, focused on scrutinizing the implementation status of the WAPIS Programme since the preceding meeting in May 2023.
Deliberations delved into addressing challenges encountered during implementation and crafting strategic and operational guidelines for participating countries, ECOWAS, the EU, and INTERPOL.
During the 9th WAPIS Programme Steering Committee, representatives from various nations shared updates on the progress of WAPIS within their borders.
Additionally, a parallel workshop conducted alongside the committee aimed to facilitate the exchange of valuable experiences and best practices related to the WAPIS Programme.
The workshop specifically honed in on insights regarding WAPIS DACOREs, the System itself, and discussions around ownership and the system’s long-term sustainability.
The active participation of the Gambia Police Force delegation underscores the nation’s dedication to fostering enhanced regional security through collaborative efforts within the WAPIS and AFIS frameworks.
As the Gambia takes strides in these vital discussions, the impact is poised to resonate positively across West Africa, bolstering the collective pursuit of a safer and more secure future.