A critical need for regional police collaboration to address evolving security challenges in West Africa was emphasized during a recent meeting of the West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) technical sub-committee.

The meeting, held on June 6th in Abuja, Nigeria, brought together representatives from ECOWAS member states to discuss training, operations, and strategies for tackling transnational crime.

Dr. Abdourahmane Dieng, Permanent Secretary of WAPCCO, representing the ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Amb. Abdel-Fatah Musah, highlighted the impact of information technology on the sophistication of crimes. He stressed the need for law enforcement agencies to adapt to the dynamic nature of cyberspace, which criminals exploit for illicit activities.

Dr. Dieng further emphasized the urgency of addressing regional security threats including the illicit traffic of small arms, human smuggling, and cybercrime. He urged participants to share best practices and develop joint strategies to enhance the capabilities of security personnel.

Nigerian Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, echoed the call for collaboration, urging for innovative approaches to address the complex security challenges facing West Africa. He highlighted the increasing complexity of national security threats, particularly the rise of transnational crimes.

Egbetokun emphasized the need for member states to bolster their national security capacities, particularly in cyberspace, to counter cybercriminals who exploit legal and legislative disparities across the region.

The West African Police Chiefs Committee (WAPCCO) is a specialized institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), established in 2003. It serves as a consultative body for regional police cooperation and comprises the Police Chiefs of the 15 ECOWAS Member States.

The meeting signifies WAPCCO’s continued commitment to fostering regional cooperation and developing effective strategies to combat security threats in West Africa.