The National Commission has developed a National Plan of Action to control and manage illicit small arms in Ghana which will be launched during the second quarter of the year.
The Ghana National Action Plan for Arms Control and Management (NAP) provides the framework for a comprehensive set of activities to ensure the effective and efficient Control and Management of arms in the country. Specifically, it is the core document to guide the country’s efforts at arresting the proliferation and misuse of small arms, and eradicate threats that they pose to human security.
The Commission’s programmes are structured on five (5) pillars or outlined under five thematic areas as outlined below:
- Small Arms Control:
This thematic area focuses on: the Formulation of appropriate policies on small arms; Review and harmonization of laws on firearms; Training/Capacity building for Commission Staff, Security Agencies, and relevant stakeholders; Coordinating national efforts at dealing with illicit arms; Advocacy for institutional strengthening and needed capacity for relevant institutions to deal with the small arms situation effectively, etc;
- Public Education and Awareness Raising:
The second thematic area focuses on educating the general public on: the Dangers and impact of illicit small arms and gun violence on our peace, security and development; Responsible ownership of arms and precautions to avoid accidental killing or maiming with arms; Legislation on Arms and Ammunition including their acquisition, transfer and penal sanctions for possessing arms without authority; Implications of illicit acquisition and or possession of arms; Significance of collaboration between the Security Agencies and the general public in controlling illicit arms and gun violence; etc.
This will be done through): the electronic and print media – [i] radio and TV platforms such as popular talk show programmes, drama series/drama, jingles/commercials, documentary shows, panel discussions; [ii] newspaper articles, billboards, flyers, posters, stickers, etc – community education and sensitisation / town hall meetings / public lecture / forum, schools education and awareness raising programmes, group / stakeholder engagement (churches, associations / unions, institutions, judiciary, legislature, etc).
- Alternative Livelihood Schemes & Skills Development for Blacksmiths:
This thematic area also focuses on initiatives such as: Identifying and Mobilising blacksmiths into associations to sensitise them on the dangers of illegal manufacture of arms, benefits of groupings and the need for self-regulation to redeem their image and attract support, as well as encourage the manufacture of non-lethal implements in order to reduce in the illegal manufacture of arms; Engagement with blacksmiths associations on their challenges, needed assistance and possible alternative livelihood schemes that are viable to wean them off the production of illicit small arms; Seeking support for business management and skills development trainings and workshops for the blacksmiths; Engagement with donors, corporate institutions, the Ministries of Trade and Industries, Health, Food and Agriculture and Education / GES for assistance in providing tools and identified alternative livelihood ventures for the blacksmiths, as well as a sustainable market for their legal products.
- Border Control:
Under this thematic area, initiatives such as: Organising and Facilitating training in Border Control and Management for Security Agencies; Mobilizing support for equipment and logistics such as scanners, metal detectors and surveillance cameras for Security Agencies to enhance effective border control; and Public education and sensitisation in border communities (on the dangers of illicit proliferation and trafficking of small arms as well as the need to collaborate with Border Security Personnel to prevent arms smuggling) are to be implemented.
- Stockpile and Inventory Management System:
The last thematic area focuses on programmes such as: Organising and Facilitating training in Physical Security and Stockpile / Inventory Management for Security Agencies; Developing Stockpile and Inventory Management Systems for Security Agencies; Marking of state and civilian arms; Capturing records on legal arms in the country in an electronic database; Establishing a comprehensive database system on small arms and related issues; Identifying seized / confiscated small arms in Police armouries for Auditing, Collection and Destruction; Auditing of state and licensed dealers’ arms stocks and Physical Inspection of state armouries and private magazines; Facilitating the provision of well secured state armouries, etc.