European Union

WAPIS Programme

The overall objective of the West Africa Police Information System (WAPIS) Programme is to strengthen information exchange and coordination among the region’s law enforcement agencies. This is essential in order to combat the crimes currently affecting the region such as drug trafficking, human smuggling and terrorism.

The Programme is being implemented at three levels: national, regional and global.

National level

The Programme will provide local law enforcement authorities with an electronic national police information system allowing them to create, manage and share files connected to crimes and offences. Data will include:

  • Criminal cases and events;
  • Suspects, victims and witnesses;
  • Legal proceedings;
  • Weapons and objects;
  • Vehicles;
  • Identity documents.

Regional level

The national systems will be networked into a regional information sharing platform for police. This will allow the instant exchange of authorized police data among countries of the region, thereby enhancing cooperation and rapid police action.

Another advantage of this centralized system is that police will be able to collate crime statistics more easily and analyse trends affecting the region. The insights will be used to develop effective anti-crime strategies.

Global level

Each national police data system will be connected to INTERPOL’s secure, global police communications system (I-24/7) through the country’s National Central Bureau. As such, officers will be able to share authorized national data globally and to perform checks against INTERPOL’s databases.

This capacity has the potential to reveal connections between crimes and criminals that would not previously have been possible. For example, an officer performing a name check on a national suspected of drug trafficking may learn that the individual is wanted by another country, beyond the region, for similar criminal activities.

Interconnection with INTERPOL’s I-24/7 system will help strengthen the operational link between West African law enforcement and the rest of the world, which is crucial to effectively combating transnational organized crime and terrorism.

EU funding

The Programme has been fully funded by the European Union since its outset in 2012, first under the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP) and now under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

The current phase is working to consolidate the system in the four pilot countries (Benin, Ghana, Mali and Niger) and to lay the ground for implementation in other West African countries.

The Programme is seeking enhanced cooperation with the G5 Sahel and its Member States, which also includes launching the set-up of a WAPIS-like national police information system in Chad.

In July 2015, the EU and ECOWAS agreed to further support the full rollout of the WAPIS System in all ECOWAS countries and Mauritania under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF, EU-West Africa Regional Indicative Programme). The EDF support will be available by October 2017 and will cover activities in all ECOWAS countries and Mauritania. Activities with the G5 Sahel and Chad would continue under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa until February 2018.

Project updates

May 2016

The WAPIS Programme has entered a 15-month intermediary phase under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, which will see the Programme initiate work with Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire and Mauritania.

July 2017

INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Police Services, Tim Morris, visited the WAPIS Data Collection and Registration Centre in Accra, Ghana. The visit included meetings with Ambrose Dery, Minister of Interior, David Asante Apeatu, Inspector General of Police, Ghana Police Service, Francis Aboagye Nyarko, Head of INTERPOL National Central Bureau for Ghana and Bright Oduro, Ghana’s WAPIS Focal Point. Mr Morris stressed the strategic importance of the WAPIS Programme for all stakeholders and the need for national and regional authorities to ensure successful implementation of the programme throughout the region. Full rollout of the programme will take place in October 2017 under the 11th European Development Fund and will include all ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania. It will see the development and implementation of the regional data-sharing platform and establish connections between all national WAPIS systems and INTERPOL channels.