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General News of Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Source: GNA

GIS to manage migration issues in a comprehensive manner

Accra, Sept. 20, GNA – The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) on Tuesday launched a four-year strategic plan to manage migration issues in a more comprehensive manner.

It is based on four major objectives, including managing migration in the national interest by facilitating border crossings of legitimate travelers at authorised routes.

The plan is estimated to cost GH¢107 million, and would also help prevent irregular migration by deterring border crossings at unauthorised routes.

It would contribute to national security by tackling immigration crime and working with other States to improve the quality of operations on international matters such as piracy, human trafficking, supply of narcotic drugs and issues on common land borders.

Mr Kobby Acheampong, Deputy Minister of the Interior, who launched the plan, pointed out that its vision should be to derive maximum benefit from migration.

“International migration is now an established feature of contemporary social and economic life with both positive and negative manifestations,” he said.

The Deputy Minister said GIS was well placed and had a responsibility to create the conditions which were required for investments to flourish, foreigners and Ghanaians to feel safe, rights to be respected and speedy processes to be designed that would not clog the wheel of Government’s developmental agenda.

Mr Acheampong said Ghana was becoming an increasingly desirable destination for investment, tourism and travel and noted that migration challenges were becoming more complex, which demanded proactive strategies to build capacities and capabilities.

He urged the management of GIS to communicate the plan effectively to its staff to enable them to buy-in and feel part of the entire plan, explaining that this would give migration management the needed boost and make the plan more successful.

Dr Peter Wiredu, Director of Immigration, said international migration had come to the forefront of Ghana’s developmental agenda as its impact was increasingly felt in the social, economic and political spheres.

He noted that formulating a strategic plan at this stage of the country’s development was a logical and extremely important step to enable the GIS to prioritise and effectively carry out its mission and vision, while evaluating its performance against the objectives laid out in the plan.

Mr Wiredu said, “There is no guarantee of attaining goals that are never set”.

He mentioned human resources, policy framework, information, facilities and equipment, collaboration and funding as five factors that were crucial for achieving the plan.

Expressing certainty, Mr Wiredu said 2015 would see a transformed, more vibrant GIS with enhanced strategic and operational efficiency levels which would be the pride of all Ghanaians and the envy of foreigners who traversed the shores and borders of Ghana.

Dr Peter Quartey, Deputy Head of Centre for Migration Studies, expressed happiness about the plan and how timely it was for the GIS to launch the document.

He said Ghana lacked a comprehensive migration policy but explained, however, that the plan outlined the need for such

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