Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security chief director Kennedy Nkhoma says forums between countries sharing boundaries are important in ensuring integration and addressing cross-border challenges.
Nkhoma was speaking in Chipata, Zambia on Monday when he led a Malawi delegation to the first tripartite cross-border forum for Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.
The meeting, which was jointly organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and Save the Children International, focused on creating a platform to address cross-border challenges in areas of migration and health.
He said issues such as illegal immigrants and health in the three countries can be well tackled through discussions that should draw plans and the way forward.
Zambia’s Permanent Secretary in Eastern Province Chanda Kasolo, who officially opened the meeting, said sharing of experiences and ideas will contribute to the improvement in service delivery to people of the three countries.
He commended the IOM and Save the children for organising the forum, which he said will improve relationship among the three countries.
“There is need for implementation of the issues discussed at the forum so that the fruits of the meeting should be seen,” said Kasolo.
Apart from migration, the forum’s discussion also tackled difficulties in accessing health services, especially through language barrier, lack of standardised health services and treatment protocols between countries and differences in the legal and administrative frameworks in the three countries that make repatriation of migrants difficult.
The Malawi delegation comprised officials from ministries of Home affairs and Internal Security, Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Local Government and Rural Development, Justice and Health.
The next cross-border meeting will be held in April 2018 in Tete, Mozambique. n