The Borders Institute (TBI) is an independent, multinational, non-profit, non-governmental organization, based as a legal entity in Nairobi, Kenya. With staff members and partners working through field-based research and high-level training on border issues, the institute has positioned itself as a leading research and training institute on border issues in Africa.
TBI is registered as a not-for-profit organization in Kenya. TBI was established by a group of African researchers and practitioners with extensive backgrounds in boundary delimitation, demarcation, and maintenance; border security and management; cross-border cooperation and regional integration; and border dispute settlement in Africa and the world.
TBI is an Africa focused organization, wholly independent of any government but helping them, as well as regional organizations, international organizations, and the international community, to promote and maintain peaceful and prosperous borders in Africa. TBI is on course to be the leading non-government source of information, analysis, and policy advice on African borders, as well as a reputable institution for building the capacities of African governments on border issues.
TBI research outputs are geared to promoting peaceful and prosperous borders in Africa by reaffirming African boundaries, enhancing border management, promoting cross-border cooperation, eliminating border disputes, and improving the livelihoods of the border communities.
Our borders are Us. They affect our lives, as they affect countries and counties in multiple ways: they assign identities and territories; determine relations between states and counties; promote interstate commerce and trade (custom duty and curbing smuggling activities); cause tensions, conflicts and wars if they are undefined, unmarked and unmanaged or poorly defined, marked and managed; and can be positive or negative, friendly or unfriendly, inclusive or exclusive, unifying or separating depending on how they are managed. If borders are disputed, they can cause humanitarian catastrophes, disruption of national and international trade and economic development, regional tensions, and regional insecurity. Borders will prevent conflicts and enhance peaceful co-existence within and between countries if they are clearly defined, marked and managed.
Peaceful and Prosperous Borders
Over the last few years there have been numerous reports of border disputes between and within African countries. Most of these border disputes are caused by a myriad of factors. Among these are: unclear and incomplete delineation and demarcation of boundaries, the presence of natural resources on the borders, the lack of cross-border cooperation arrangements, and the lack of mechanisms to prevent and resolve cross-border disputes between the border-straddling communities.