Government intervention programmes which have been put in place have helped to ensure a decline in the number of illegal Ghanaian migrants to European countries.
This was made known by the Chief Director of the Ministry of The Interior, Mrs. Adelaide Anno-Kumi during the Ghana – EU Dialogue on Migration, held on Wednesday, 16th January 2019, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
Mrs. Adelaide Anno-Kumi stated that programmes such as the “One district One Factory”, “One Village One Dam”, “Planting for Food and Jobs”, “Free Senior High School’’, “Nation Builders Corps”, among others have helped to create jobs and tackled the root causes of irregular migration. She added that the programmes which were to help minimize or eventually curb the push factors which make the youth embark on irregular migration had made impact, thus reducing the casualties reported in the number of illegal Ghanaian migrants to EU countries.
She indicated that “statistics from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Ghana, has it that migration across the desert and Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2016 was 5,756, in 2017 it decreased to 4,046 and from January to July 2018 it decreased to 497.
She noted that the “decline suggests that fewer Ghanaians are now embarking on the often-dangerous perilous journeys through the Sahara Desert to seek economic opportunities in Europe”.
Mrs. Anno-Kumi indicated that Government’s key priorities for migration management include;
- Addressing the root causes of irregular migration including rural-urban migration, mitigating the negative impacts of climate change and the environmental drivers of migration, growing land degradation, low investments in agriculture and low agricultural productivity;
- Addressing growing food insecurity and the increase in the vulnerability of the rural population;
- Preventing irregular migration through increased focus on the creation of sustainable economic opportunities for rural and urban youth of the country;
- Ensuring that irregular migrants return in dignified manner within the reception and reintegration capacities of countries of origin with a greater emphasis on the protection of the financial property and legal rights of returnees;
- Boosting private sector led growth as a tool for job creation and building the capabilities of our youth demographic.
She commended government for intensifying education on the dangers associated with illegal migration. She urged stakeholders to continue to engage in political dialogue and technical cooperation to stem the flow of irregular migration, create sustainable and resilient societies in Africa as well as foster open and receptive communities in Europe.
The Chief Director called on the European Union and its member countries to strengthen their commitment to the balanced implementation of the Joint Valletta Action Plan and open legal and safe pathways for migration through reasonable visa regimes.
For her part, the Head of the EU Delegation to Ghana, H.E Diana Acconcia said the European Union and Ghana had a shared responsibility for saving human lives, protecting migrants, addressing the root causes and preventing irregular migration. She indicated that migration issues should be discussed in a comprehensive manner.
The Ag. Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ambassador Albert Yankey speaking at the end of the dialogue said both sides agreed on action points to help curb irregular migration. He also urged that sensitisation programmes aimed at curbing irregular migration should continue.