Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, has opened the first “Risk Analysis Cell” in Niamey in cooperation with authorities in Niger.
The role of these cells, which are run by local analysts trained by Frontex, is to collect and analyze strategic data on cross-border crime in various African countries and support relevant authorities involved in border management.
This data includes information on illegal border crossings, document fraud, trafficking in human beings and other types of cross-border crime. It is shared with authorities at national and regional level to produce analysis and policy recommendations, as well as with Frontex.
The Risk Analysis Cell in Niger is the first of eight such cells that was established in the framework of the Africa-Frontex Intelligence Community (AFIC). The remaining cells will be established in Ghana, Gambia, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, Guinea and Mali over the next twelve months.
Cooperation between Frontex and 26 members of AFIC is a key element in battling cross-border crime and security threats affecting African countries and the EU. AFIC was launched in 2010 to provide a framework for regular information sharing about migrant smuggling and border security threats. It foresees close cooperation with a number of countries along the main smuggling routes. This is done through a series of training activities to develop national and regional strategies to fight cross-border crime. It also includes setting up integrated border management systems, as well as improving the collection, sharing and analysis of relevant data.
In addition to Frontex officials, the opening of the Risk Analysis Cell in Niger included representatives from Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, EUCAP Sahel Niger and other international partners.
The project is financed by the European Commission.