Preparations are ongoing to establish a Ghana National Commission on Migration (GNCM) to serve as the coordinating mechanism for migration related issues in the country.
It would also promote policy coherence at the national, regional, and global levels; champion humane and orderly migration and create an enabling environment to protect the rights of migrants.
The Commission is a recommendation of the National Migration Policy (NMP) of Ghana launched in 2016 to help manage the country’s internal and external migration flows for poverty reduction and sustained national development.
Chairperson of the technical committee for the establishment of the Commission, Professor Mariama Awumbila, made this known at the bi-annual meeting of the Migration Coordination Platform (MCP) in Accra on Tuesday.
The platform, made up of global development partners and multilateral agencies in the migration space of Ghana was set up by the European Union (EU) in Ghana and International Organization for Migration (IOM) Ghana, last year.
Its aim is to improve the coordination of members which include the IOM, EU; German Development Corporation (GIZ Ghana) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
The meeting was to share information and discuss pressing migration issues with government and other key stakeholders with focus on the NMP; successes, challenges and lessons learnt.
Prof Awumbila, also a Senior Lecturer at the Centre of Migration Studies at the University of Ghana, giving an overview of the status of NMP via video conference said the change in government in 2016 delayed the implementation of the policy and when work picked up in 2019 the pandemic slowed it down.
However, she said, consultations had been held and the structure of similar commissions in other countries had been studied as part of preparatory works to guide the establishment of Ghana’s own commission.
She said reports and other documents were expected to be sent to cabinet while other stakeholder engagements, capacity building were ongoing ahead of the determination of an actual timeline for the commission to be set up.
“The commission, when established, certainly has a critical role to play in strengthening migration,” she said.
The Director of the Migration Unit at the Ministry of The Interior, Dominic Afriyie Agyeman, said the national policy was a proactive measure to deal with migration issues which influences sustainable development.
He said the government would continue to provide the needed support to implement the policy, and urged the development partners to sustain their resolve to help address migration issues in the country.
IOM Ghana Chief of Mission, Abibatou Wane, said with Ghana and the West African region being a hyper area for migration, it was important that migration was well managed.
“If we manage we know that migration is the source of prosperity, innovation and sustainable development. However, if unaddressed, the risk and challenge of migration can be immense as evidenced by 1000s of migrants who have lost their life crossing the Mediterranean to the new lesson”, she said.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR