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Regional News of Thursday, 22 October 2015

Source: GNA

Cabinet approves National Migration Policy

Mr James Agalga, Deputy Minister of Interior, says the National Migration Policy (NMP) has received cabinet approval and has provisions for a number of interventions to solve the migration trends.

Mr Agalga who said this at a sensitisation workshop in Accra on Tuesday said the provisions indicated that government is committed to adopt and implement the national migration policy through a multi stakeholder approach.

He said the workshop was one of such stakeholder engagements towards the realisation of the implementation which requires harmonisation with the existing laws.

He said the overall aim of the NMP is to provide guidance for the holistic management of migration.

It has clearly stated the vision, mission, goal, strategic objectives and action plans that include indicators, outputs, human and financial resources requirements and timelines.

For the first time in the history of Ghana the government has formulated a NMP to help manage its internal, intra-regional and international migration flows for national development.

He said migration is increasingly recognised as a major human development issue which if effectively managed and harnessed could contribute towards the socio-economic transformation of our country.

In Ghana migration has played a central role in the livelihood strategies of both rural and urban populations adding: “I would like to stress that migration issues shall be mainstreamed into the sectorial development plans,” Mr Agalga said.

In line with this, the Ministry is liaising with the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) to infuse the National Migration Policy into the medium and long term development agenda of the commission.

He said a lot of strategies have been laid out in the policy to address the challenges.

Mr Agalga expressed the hope that with the implementation of the strategies government is in the right direction to deal with the challenges posed by migration of all forms so that there would be greater development, prosperity and social protection for migrants and the citizens at large.

He said the nature and scope of the human movement keeps changing with emerging global trends and the dynamics call for frequent examination of the subject matter sharing of new knowledge and the review of responses to the situation.

We must also acknowledge the fact that migration generally has both positive and negative implications for human development which cannot be overlooked.

He said is common knowledge that in recent times, Europe has been experiencing one of the most significant influxes of migrants and refugees in its history pushed by civil war and terror and oiled by the promise of a better life, hundreds of thousands of people have fled the middle East and Africa, to Europe risking their lives along the way.

He said from January- August at least 350,000 immigrants have crossed the EU borders into Europe.

More than 2,600 people have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea trying to reach Greece or Italy with unsafe boats and from January to June, 3,500 Ghanaians are said to have travelled to Italy using irregular means of migration.

Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister said the massive migration of persons from Ghana in search of greener pastures abroad is a contributory factor to the slow development of the country.

He said rural urban migration is typically seen as creating pressure on urban infrastructure, environment and employment and there is an underlying assumption that rural-urban migration is linked to rising levels of poverty witnessed in Ghana in the past decade.

He said the nation is increasingly confronted with the phenomenon of rural-urban migration, adding that migrants from all over the country travel to the major cities especially Accra in search of greener pastures.

The Ghana poverty reduction strategies, 1 and 2 as well as the current Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda migrants are not seen as vulnerable group in the country’s social protection strategy.

He expressed the hope that the policy would address issues on small skill enterprises, social protection schemes and support for the informal sector, basic services, reintegration, rural urban migration and urban development.

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