Ghana adopts the US “Fusion Centers” model for improving security at its borders

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Ghana has officially inaugurated on 22 January 2020, with the assistance of the US Government, its first National Border Fusion Center, a collaborative effort between the security agencies of the country aimed at improving their capacity to address common security challenges via the sharing of information and intelligence.

Fusion Centers have been established in the U.S. after the September 11 attacks to maximize the ability of the US government to fight terrorism and increase the efficiency of the judiciary in prosecuting terrorism, drugs, and frauds-related crimes. They are focal points which have been established in each State (called "Primary Fusion Centers") and within the major urban areas in the US ("Recognized Fusion Centers"), charged with the task to collect, analyse, merge and share threat-related information that they receive from a variety of sources, including the federal government, local agencies and private sector partners (their list is here).

Fusion centers support the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other agencies both at Federal and local level in identifying and addressing immediate and emerging threats.

In August 2006 the DHS, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) developed specific guidelines to assist with interoperability and communication issues between these Centers, at all levels, while the modalities for intelligence development and sharing between security agencies are described in a National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan adopted in October 2003.

On 2014, the US government launched the Security Governance Initiative (SGI), a multi-year programme aimed at supporting 6 African countries (Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Tunisia) in improving security sector governance and their capacity to address threats.

The Ghanaian first Border Fusion Center will foster interagency collaboration by coordinating the operations and communications among the country's security agencies, mainly Customs, Immigration and Police, so to maximize their ability to fight terrorism and other criminal activities like trafficking of persons and drugs, improving security at the borders and providing the judiciary with valuable information that will help it to prosecute such kind of crimes.