Professor Joseph Teye, Director of Centre for Migration Studies (CMS), University of Ghana, has said Ghana needs holistic migration policy that will help maximise the benefits of migration and minimise the negative and risk factors.
He said as at 2015 Ghana’s remittance savings stood at about $4.9 billion and that declined a little bit of about $3.5 billion recently, and emphasised the need to look at how to leverage the benefits of remittances for development.
He said the migration policy stated that there should be a migration commission that would advise on policy implementation and they had started work with the setting up of the commission.
“The Ministry of the Interior has done well by forming an inter-ministerial working group and we started our work about a month ago,” he added.
Prof Teye said this on the sideline of the just-ended second multi-stakeholders’ workshop to promote intra-regional mobility within the ECOWAS region by enhancing the capacity of participants to address the obstacles to the full implementation of the ECOWAS Free Movement Protocol in Ghana and Sierra Leone.
It is also to provide a platform for participants from Ghana and Sierra-Leone to discuss mechanisms and strategies for addressing the various challenges associated with the implementation of the ECOWAS Free Movement protocol and to finalise the roadmap.
The workshop was organised by the Migration and Development West Africa project, Partnership for a Governance of Migration and Rights-Based Mobility (MADE West Africa project).
The MADE West Africa project was a three development project funded by the European Union and is being implemented by three partners: International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), Belgium; African Foundation for Development (AFFORD), UK; and Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana, Legon.
The project objective is to promote good governance of migration and mobility and protection of migrants’ rights, with a view of enhancing the development benefits of migration and mobility in West Africa, among others.
Prof Teye, who is also a member of the Inter-Ministerial Working Group said: “The other issue the policy wants to look at is migrants’ protection, so the policy provides frameworks to reduce some of the abuses and risks some of these migrants go through when travelling to other countries.”
The policy, he said, also had sections that dealt with returning migration, “so we thought it wise of having a policy of reintegration of migrants who returned back or those migrated to other countries and returned to Ghana”.
Professor Mariama Awumbila, Project Coordinator of MADE West Africa project, said the draft roadmap was identified by the previous participants to find the key issues to deal with the state of implementation, as well as actions to be taken to address those issues.
She said the participants, would look at and work on developing it further, so that they could present it to the government, and wait on the outcome.
Prof Awumbila said the roadmap was suggestions that would be put forward to government, and “we are not binding government on its implementation”.
She said the implementation of the protocol “has not been all that bad, fortunately the positives outweigh the negatives, it is good to look at the positives and see how we can analyse it and make sure the barriers are reduced”.