Stakeholders meet over Ghana’s migration policy

A National Stakeholders Meeting on the National Migration Policy Development, on Thursday took place in Accra.

The meeting was attended by representatives of Government Sector Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Civil Society Organisations, Development partners, Foreign Missions in Ghana amongst others.

Discussions at the meeting centred on how best Ghana could position itself toward developing a coherent and effective National Migration and Development Policy.

Ms. Dyane Epstein, Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), said in her remarks, that the Government of Ghana, being aware of the challenges and opportunities that migration entailed in Ghana and abroad, had prioritized developing a National Migration Policy, with the support of the IOM and the United Nations Development Project.

“The policy document on which we would work today is a draft. It is important to ensure that the draft meets your expectations of what could be improved or corrected before it is finalised and submitted to a higher level within the government.”

She said migration was on the global agenda and remained one of the foremost development topics of the 21st century.

Ms. Epstein said migration had linkages with socio-economic development, security, environment and climate change, human rights and other fields.

“One priority now is to develop mechanisms to actually build more synergies between Migration Policy and national development, poverty reduction strategies and programmes.

She said the IOM remained convinced that inter-ministerial consultation and also, the involvement of civil society organizations, played a crucial role in enhancing policy coherence, to support the beneficial aspects of migration.

Mr. Claude Maerten, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation in Ghana, said migration had assumed importance on the global agenda, as its potential for economic and social development, was becoming “more and more important”.

He said for developing countries like Ghana, the perception of migration had “significantly” changed over the years.

“Thus from a period when migration was perceived as mainly negative, embodying the brain drain and carrying away the skills of Africa, migration is increasingly being recognized as key to development and as offering new channels and opportunities for sustainable development.”

Mr. Maerten said as a result, migration had attracted the attention of policy makers and various stakeholders.

He said the EU strongly believed that the development of a comprehensive and coherent migration management and development policy for Ghana, would serve as a guide for mainstreaming migration issues into the government’s development framework at all levels.

Mr. Maerten said note had to be taken of the fact that migration could not be managed by governments in isolation.

“Within this field, no one would succeed by acting on his own. More coordination and coherence between all the actions implemented by the partners in the area of migration is needed.”

He said the human dimension of migration should be kept at the centre of all the actions “and we should not lose sight of the evolving economic needs of labour markets and dynamic societies”.

Over the past year, the IOM Office in Ghana has been supporting the Government of Ghana in the development of a comprehensive and coherent Migration Management and Development Policy for Ghana.

Source: GNA

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