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29 January 2013

Boosting police information exchange across West Africa focus of INTERPOL workshop

COTONOU, Benin – The second INTERPOL West African Police Information System (WAPIS) Programme workshop, hosted by Benin National Police, brought together some 20 representatives from seven countries to define the scope of the exchange of police information in West Africa.
 
The three-day meeting (23 - 25 January) was officially opened by the Minister of Interior, Public Security and Religious Affairs, Benoît Aswan Comlan Degla, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Benin, Ambassador Françoise Collet, INTERPOL Vice President for Africa, Mohammed Adamu and the representative of the Economic Community of the States of West Africa, Mr Isaac Armstrong.

Developed by INTERPOL and funded by the European Union, WAPIS is aimed at creating a national and regional infrastructure for the exchange of police information to strengthen the fight against terrorism and crime affecting the sub-region.

Workshop participants from Benin, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Sierra Leone were able to see first-hand the systems in place at Benin’s Public Security Documentation Centre, the structure of which formed a basis for discussion.

The workshop concluded with the adoption of a comprehensive model of information exchange to enable the investigation and prosecution of criminals among the countries of the sub region.

"The success of WAPIS will be a major step in strengthening security across and beyond the West African region," said INTERPOL Vice President for Africa, Adamu Mohammed.