Promoting Cross-Border Community Cohesion in The Gambia and Senegal

Promoting cross-border community cohesion in The Gambia and Senegal. Photo: IOM

Banjul - In March 2019, the last of a series of four cross-border community cohesion initiatives was concluded in Karang, a community in Senegal bordering The Gambia. The four events were organized to raise awareness on transnational crime and to promote cooperation between border patrol officials, as well as cohesion between border communities. The activities targeted Gilboro and Amdallai villages in The Gambia, and Seleti and Karang, in Senegal.

For logistical reasons, and because of the lack of sustainable mobility options, the border between Senegal and The Gambia is sometimes closed, endangering the livelihoods of the communities. The border area between the two countries is also particularly susceptible to trafficking and smuggling activity.

Through focus group discussions and community dialogue sessions, government authorities as well as community leaders from both sides of the border discussed on how best to combat cross-border crime. Each event featured music and dance, a friendly football match and a community sanitation exercise.

“The engagement of communities and their involvement in border management has enhanced the working relationship between officials and community members,” remarked Seedy Touray, Director-General of The Gambia Immigration Department, on the significance of community sensitization efforts.

These efforts are part of Enhancing collective capacity for managing borders and for protecting border communities: The Gambia and Senegal, a project funded by the Government of Japan. Through the project, 135 border officials were trained on document security, fraud detection, protection of vulnerable migrants and integrated border management.

The project also provided equipment to The Gambia Immigration Department and conducted two assessments on nine ports of entry and three border communities.

“It is important to have a strong security arrangement along the Gambian-Senegalese border,” expressed Tatsuo Arai, Ambassador of Japan to both countries, on the need to continue such efforts, “to ensure safety and prevent terrorism and crime.”

“Throughout this next phase of the project, we hope that you all remain firm in strengthening a culture of cooperation and information exchange across the Gambian-Senegalese border. It is the only way our learnings will have a lasting impact,” said Fumiko Nagano, IOM Chief of Mission in The Gambia.


For more information please contact Miko Alazas at IOM The Gambia; Tel: +220 330 3168, Email:

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities