The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has pass-out 40 Liberia Immigration Officers at the Ghana Immigration Academy and Training School at Assin Fosu in the Central Region.
Mr Kobby Acheampong, Deputy Interior Minister, who was the Reviewing Officer for the ceremony, said a tripartite contract was signed in June 18, 2009 by the GIS, the Immigration and Naturalisation Department (IND) and the Repatriation and Departure Service (RDS) of the Netherlands and the Liberia Bureau of Immigration and Naturalisation (LBIN) to help Liberia to reform and restructure its immigration system.
Mr Acheampong said the contract was to build the capacity of 140 Liberia Immigration Officers towards restructuring, reengineering and strengthening of the institutional capacity of LBIN to make it more effective and efficient in managing migration challenges.
He said the ceremony was the final phase of the training programme which was the pilot training project. At the end of the two year partnership project, he added, the 140 Liberia Immigration Officers would have been trained.
Mr Acheampong noted that the role played by the GIS under the partnership had reaffirmed government commitment towards inter-state and sub-regional cooperation, which was of prime importance to the development of the sub-region.
He stressed that the West Africa region required stability and security to unleash its massive human potential and creativity, adding that ECOWAS states had to marshal their resources to ensure a well-coordinated regional security and to promote free movement and travel of citizens within the sub-region.
Mr Acheampong said Ghana Government would continue to support efforts towards improving the capability of the Immigration Academy and Training School by providing the needed infrastructural and logistics for the realisation of the Service’s vision.
He urged the graduates to use the knowledge and skills acquired to build comprehensive structures that would be resilient to the vulnerabilities facing migration and manage the risks and protect the state.
Mr Gerard Duijfjes, Ambassador of the Netherlands, said West Africa had suffered violent conflicts years back, destroying the needed infrastructure and human capital and that it would be good for countries in the sub-region to cooperate and facilitate the process of development.
The Ambassador said Netherlands strove for good partnership in all aspects of migration, ranging from the proportion of legal migration via protection in the region for people sheltering for violence to combating irregular migration.
He said Ghana had been invited to enter into a mobility partnership with the European Union (EU) aimed to promote sustained cooperation between the EU and its member states with third countries along the migration routes.
Ambassador Duijfjes noted that the Netherlands Embassy would continue to support all efforts that promoted peace and stability in West Africa, adding that the successful cooperation of the project would continue in future.
Mr Bert Van Hoon, leader of the project, said the IND was an agency of the Netherlands Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Relations, which implemented the immigration policy and the Aliens Act on behalf of the Minister of Immigration and Asylum.
Mr Hoon said the IND processes request for asylm, application, visas and other residence permits, adding that the project would help address migration problems, drug and human trafficking in the sub-region.