The Danish Demining Group (DDG)’s Borderlands Knowledge Hub collates the organisation’s knowledge on border security and management issues in Eastern Africa, comprising Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Uganda. The website includes interactive GIS maps that visualise data on conflict patterns, actors, drivers, and contexts. It also serves as a library of secondary literature, policy recommendations, and “lessons learned” reports. Borderlands are of particular interest to DDG’s work for three primary reasons. First, at present globally there is a high level of concern with international migration, of which border crossing within Eastern Africa is an important locus.
The Hub catalyses the conversation about border conflict and management by connecting people, supporting organisations, and dispensing information.
Second, many Eastern African countries have recently discovered oil reserves in formerly peripheral areas. As a result, large tracts of territory that since independence have received very little governmental attention are becoming the object of contestation and new, often heavy-handed policing responses. Third, borders and
borderlands are crucial components in regional terrorism and security dynamics, especially with regards to insurgent movements.
The Hub’s Objectives
The Hub is designed to achieve three objectives:
- 1. Present in an intuitive, accessible fashion current information on borderlands conflict dynamics. This will include actors, commercial routes of both legal and illegal goods, land contestations, conflict incidents, among other dynamics
- 2. Provide a library of research on borderlands programming and good practice, categorized by geographical area.
- 3 .Provide an opportunity for actors such as NGOs, UN bodies, universities, and national and regional governments to see the current situation in terms of both research and programming, and to address gaps, share learning, and collaborate on interventions accordingly. The Hub is ultimately designed to be the basis of an inter-agency secretariat on border issues.
At present the Borderlands Knowledge Hub focuses on DDG’s two most recent areas of crossborder programming, the Mandera Triangle and the Karamoja Cluster. The remit of the project currently covers the Greater Horn of Africa and the website will expand to cover more areas of interest within the region as it develops.