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ECOWAS praises the opening of Togo’s Police Information Center

As part of the “West African Police Information System (WAPIS)” program, the government of Togo, represented by its Minister of Security and Civil Protection, General Damehane YARK, proceeded on April 29, 2022, to the inauguration of the Information Center of Togo Police (CIPT), at the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior and Civil Protection.

In its press release published on Tuesday ECOWAS indicated that the CIPT is the national center for the collection and recording of police data, which will be responsible in Togo for the management of the West African Police Information System (WAPIS).

“This center will play a catalytic role in strengthening security and synergies between law enforcement agencies in the country, bringing them together in the process of collecting, storing and sharing police data at national levels, regional and global, via INTERPOL’s secure I-24/7 communication channel. The ICTP will thus facilitate the daily work of frontline officers in the context of criminal investigations, but also in the processing of the movement of people and goods at border crossing points”, the west African block underlined.

According to the same source, ICTP in Lomé has become the 9th national data center to be operational within the framework of WAPIS in West Africa, after Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria. Other inaugurations are planned in the coming weeks in the other WAPIS member countries of the sub-region.

Welcoming participants to the inauguration ceremony, the national focal point, Divisional Commissioner DEDJI Messan Awoh thanked the partners for the efforts made to achieve this objective and the implementation of WAPIS in Togo.

The INTERPOL’s Director of Operational Support and Analysis, Mr. Cyril GOUT also recalled that the inauguration of the ICTP is a key stage in the implementation of the WAPIS Programme: “This center allows Togolese law enforcement to strengthen ties with the international community in the fight against organized crime and terrorism. INTERPOL will continue its training and support to make the ICTP the true brain of police information in Togo”.

In the process, the Resident Representative of ECOWAS, H.E. Mr. BARROS Bacar Banjai praised the efforts of the Togolese government in the implementation of WAPIS while urging them to implement the necessary measures to ensure the sustainability of the System, in particular the publication of the 2010 ECOWAS law on the protection of personal data.

In his turn, the Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union in Lomé, Mr. Hugo VAN TILBORG, evoked the strong attention that the European Union and its Member States pay for the sectors of security, law enforcement and justice in Togo and other countries in the sub-region, facing the challenges of transnational crime, illicit trafficking and terrorism: “With our support, the WAPIS program has reached a key milestone: the ICTP in Lomé will be a valuable tool for the efforts of Togo’s security forces and will strengthen the security of the sub-region”.

Concluding the ceremony, the Minister of Security and Civil Protection, General Damehane YARK, reassured the partners about his personal commitment as well as that of the Togolese government to make WAPIS an essential tool in Togo’s security architecture in the framework of the fight against transnational crime and terrorism.

Togo joined the WAPIS program in 2017 during its 3rd phase of implementation financed by the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). The country signed the Memorandum of Understanding on March 14, 2019 and all related texts in October 2021. Since then, several training sessions have been organized for law enforcement agencies and several positions working groups were deployed in Lomé and installed among others in units of the National Police, Customs, Gendarmerie or even at the Central Office for the Repression of Illicit Trafficking in Drugs and Money Laundering (OCRTIDB).

Funded by the European Union, under the aegis of the ECOWAS Commission, and implemented by INTERPOL, the WAPIS program aims to create national police data systems in each ECOWAS Member State, Mauritania and Chad, as well as as the establishment of a regional platform and the possibility of a connection to the global databases of INTERPOL via the I-24/7 system, for an increased exchange of data.

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