The Government is committed to making migration issues integral part of its developmental agenda, says James Agalga, Deputy Minister of the Interior.
Speaking at a sensitisation workshop on the National Migration Policy in Accra yesterday, he said migration had been recognised as a major human development issue which, if effectively managed and harnessed, could contribute towards socio-economic transformation for the country.
Mr. Agalga said for the first time in the history of the country, government had formulated a national migration policy to help manage its national, internal, intra-regional and international migration flows for national development.
The policy, which has been approved by Cabinet, has provision for a number of interventions to solve migration trends in the country.
The overall aim of the policy, he said, was to promote guidance for the holistic management of migration in Ghana noting, it had clearly stated vision, mission, goal, strategic objective and action plans that include indicators, outputs, human and financial resource requirement and timelines.
The nature and scope of human movement, the deputy minister said, kept changing with emerging global trends and the dynamics called for frequent examination of the subject matter, sharing of knew knowledge and the review of responses to the situation.
“We must also acknowledge the fact that migration generally had both positive and negative implications for human development which cannot be overemphasised.”
In recent times, Mr. Agalga said Europe had been experiencing one of the most significant influxes of migrants and refuges in its history, pushed by civil war and terror pulled by the promises of better life.
He noted that hundreds of thousands of people have fled the Middle East and Africa to Europe, risking their lives along the way and that between January and August this year at least 350,000 immigrants crossed borders into Europe.
More than 2,600 people have drowned in the Mediterranean this year trying to reach Greece or Italy with unsafe fishing boats.
The ministry, he said, learnt that between January and June this year, at least 3,500 Ghanaians were said to have reached Italy using irregular means of migration.
This, he said, called for drastic intervention on the part of the respective governments globally.
Since the 1970s, Mr. Agalga said Ghana had experienced migration of its highly skilled citizens to the developed world and to other parts of Africa, especially those seeking greater economic opportunities.
This, he said, had posed major challenges for national development.
The Chief Director at the Interior ministry, Mrs. Adelaide Annor-Kumi said migration issues had become a global phenomenon that most governments across the globe were grappling with.
The workshop, she said, was to sensitise the participants on the implementation process of the policy and thanked the German International Organisation, the International Oranisation for Migration, the, Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana, among others, for their support towards the realisation of the policy.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, said much as society acknowledged instances of improvement in the livelihood of migrants as well as their relatives in the communities of origin through remittances, the overall contributions of migrants towards the development of the country leave much to be desired.
He mentioned rural-urban migration as another area of migration that the nation was increasingly confronted with saying, there was the need to effectively manage migration in the country.
By Francis Asamoah Tuffour