Kenya launches border security curriculum to boost trade and security

Interior PS Raymond Omollo. [James Wanzala,Standard]

The government has launched a Border Security and Control Curriculum to train its officials on how to manage the entry and exit of people and services at the border points.

The curriculum, which will also form part of the career progression of the officials, aims to ensure that Kenya becomes a regional and international hub in trade, travel and security. It will also help curb illegal immigrants and unauthorized goods entering the country.

The training targets officials from various agencies, including the Kenya Police Service, Kenya Revenue Authority, the Immigration Department, the National Intelligence Service, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, the Ministry of Health, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Airports Authority, Kenya Coast Guard Service and National Counter Terrorism Centre.

Interior Principal Secretary Dr Raymond Omollo, who spoke during the launch of the curriculum, said it will be mandatory for all government officers at the border points to undergo training.

“The launch embodies the commitment of the government to safeguard our borders. It is a wide step to ensure security and efficiency at our points of entry and exit,” he said.

“The curriculum will equip our border officials with competencies that will make them stay up to speed with current affairs and global best practices in border management,” Dr Omollo added.

The move comes at a time when President William Ruto announced that beginning January next year, Kenya will be a visa-free country for all visitors.

“It shall no longer be necessary for any person from any corner of the globe to carry the burden of applying for a visa to come to Kenya,” the president said.

However, former Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui criticized the decision, saying it is a double-edged sword that will jeopardize security in the country.

“The decision to make Kenya visa-free is ill-timed. The existence of many neighbouring countries experiencing instability and visa-free policy without clarity on how the Electronic Travel Authorization will be implemented is an explosive cocktail,” Kinyanjui said.

Dr Omollo, however, said the curriculum will enhance the securitization process of border points, delivery of effective services and be advanced enough to respond to emerging challenges across the border points.

“Our borders and entries of our nation serve as conduits of trade, travel and commerce and as we face the border challenges in terms of security, it is imperative that we give our front line officers knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of border management,” he stated.

Kenya School of Government Director General Prof Ludeki Chweya hailed the move by the Ministry of Interior for its effort to manage the entry and exit points better, saying this will inform strategic capacity development.

“Recognizing the importance of building competencies to manage our borders better that leads to the curriculum development is a great milestone,” said Chweya in a speech read on his behalf by KSG Director Humphrey Makaya.

EXBS Advisor US Embassy Scott Ross said the manual and training will assist in equipping the border officials with the knowledge, competencies and skills to help them better execute their mandate.

“The manual and training will assist in equipping our border officials with the knowledge, competencies and skills to help them better execute their mandate,” he said.

The curriculum has been developed with the help of Kenya School of Government, Kenya Border Management Security, and other partners.

Ross said the concerted efforts through the multi-agency approach have seen the enhancement of legitimate trade and travel and heightened security in the borders.

Chief of IoM Mission in the country Sharon Dimanche said the curriculum will enable frontline officers to fast track the processing of people crossing the border safely.

“The government is striking a balance between facilitation and control to ensure the mobility of people is secure, responsible and bona fide travelers,” she said.

She reiterated that the government has put in place a five-year strategy on the border management plan done through a border control operations coordination framework committee ready to face and address the challenges that come along with mobility.