Support for SMEs will enhance economic growth

•   Participants pose for a photograph after the session.

• Participants pose for a photograph after the session.

Support for the growth of Small and Medium Enter-prises (SME) and promoting employment that would enhance economic growth within countries will prevent illegal movement and migration in West Africa and other European countries, Head of Cooperation at European Union, Iquocio Burrull has said.

Speaking at the meeting on the “Implementation of the Valletta Action by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Member States” in Accra, he said, strategies must be put in place to ensure that people were economically comfortable in their countries to avoid such movements.

“The private sector must also be involved in employment promotion and also have qualified persons for the job market to make them stable and work towards the growth of the country at large,” he stated.

He added that, such movements and migrations would also be prevented by providing the right irrigation schemes, adequate power supply and improving the agro industry and commercial farming.

“The provision of support for vocational and technical training which would promote entrepreneurship among the youth would also be vital in curbing illegal migration,” he stated.

Migration issues he stressed were of great importance for ECOWAS member states, adding that the EU was looking beyond saving lives and fighting the smuggling of human beings.

“The issue of migration is here to stay. Demography and economic trends indicates that migration and refugee flows are a phenomenon that concerns both Europe and Africa. Both are countries of origin, transit and destination and there are more migrants and refugees on the move within Africa than from Africa to Europe,” he stated.

Project Manager at the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, Emmerentia Erasmus said the three-day meeting which presents the initiatives for the implementation of Valletta Action Plan by ECOWAS member states brought together all 15 countries in ECOWAS,government representatives, civil society and EU members to address migration issues.

The Valleta Summit she explained was focused on creating better frameworks and systems for migration and maximising the development potential of free movement of persons and migration in West Africa.

By Michael Abayatey

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