The five-day training programme was expected to help policy makers and other stakeholders understand migration dynamics and the potential for managing migration for the benefit of the country.


It was also expected to encourage active dialogue among participants and the sharing of experiences on the value and benefits of co-operation and dialogue on the migration discourse.


About twenty representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Local Government and Rural Development and the Interior, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), Ghana Refugee Board attended the workshop which was facilitated by renowned scholars in the persons of Prof. David Sam, Dr Margaret Delali Badasu, Dr Bossman Asare and Dr Joseph Teye.


Topics treated at the workshop included “Return Migration”,  “Psychological Dimensions of Migration”, “Migration and Development, Policy and Planning”, “Local, Regional and International Frameworks for Co-operation on Migration and Development”, “The Complex Notion of Diaspora” and “Migration and Social Capital”.


It was organized by IOM as a step towards the implementation of the National Migration Policy (NMP) which has received cabinet approval for implementation.


The Volta Regional Minister, Hon. Helen Adjoa Ntoso, in a statement at the end of the workshop, noted that since there was broad agreement that migration management could have a positive impact on development, there was the need to develop policies to help determine migration flows with respect to effective border management.  


Hon. Ntoso said implementation of the policy required expertise, hence the need for the training programme.


In his remarks, Mr Daniel Sam, National Project Officer, Migration and Development, IOM, disclosed that IOM had created the IOM Development Fund (IDF), formerly 1035 Facility, to help Member States develop capacities in migration management.


The NMP aims to develop a database of Ghanaian emigrants, raise awareness about job and investment opportunities in Ghana among emigrants, promote inter-state co-operation and to improve dialogue with emigrants.


The policy is also expected to facilitate the return, re-admission, and re-integration of Ghanaian emigrants, strengthen government capacity to manage returning migrants, raise awareness about job opportunities in Ghana, assist returning migrants with re-engagement in their sectors of work and to create awareness among Ghanaians about the positive contribution of returnees.


The policy is also designed to promote peace and protect the rights of migrants and host populations, institute organized pasture usage by nomadic populations and to map all national migration patterns, the impact on host populations and the environment.


In addition, the policy will prevent irregular migration, human trafficking, smuggling, and other illicit activities through effective border management, establish a national entry/exit database, strengthen government capacity of border management systems and technology, ensure the free movement of persons, goods and services among the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) citizens, and promote inter-State co-operation on border management.


Other objectives of the policy are to identify and implement durable solutions to protracted displacement, resolve challenges posed by protracted conflicts and displacement through collaboration with ECOWAS and its individual Member States, and enhance inter-agency and national co-operation and dialogue on protracted displacement in Ghana to mitigate environmental degradation resulting from protracted displacement.


The policy will also ensure government compliance with international protection obligations, enable government to enact national legislation in line with international refugee instruments, assess the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Ghana, promote inter-state co-operation and reciprocity agreements on refugees, identify and implement durable solutions to protracted displacement, promote the principle of non-discrimination against migrants in Ghana, enact and implement legislation in line with international instruments on non-discrimination, provide social services to migrants, reduce xenophobia through sensitization on social inclusion and to sensitize the general populace in Ghana on the principles of reciprocity and non-discrimination.  


The policy also aims to identify stateless persons in Ghana, provide residency or citizenship to stateless persons in Ghana, rehabilitate and re-integrate stateless persons, enact national legislation on stateless persons, sign and ratify the 1954 and 1961 UN Conventions on Stateless Persons, increase the capacity of government to address migration, environment, and climate change, assess the migration, environment and climate nexus and resulting impacts, and to mitigate the causes and consequences of the migration, environment and climate change nexus.
Other cross-cutting themes of the policy are Migration for Trade and services; Migration, Tourism and Heritage; Migration and Natural Resources; Migration and Vulnerable Groups; and Migration and Health.


Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)