“Family expectations back home are so high, most migrants who plan to return are overburdened with a list of items they are expected to present as gifts to family members, making it difficult for them to return and invest in the country,” says Dr Mary Boatemaa Setrana, a lecturer at the Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana.
Speaking at the launch of the Pre-decision and Information Guide for Potential Migrants and Returned Migrant Workers in Ghana, she noted that, “when people leave the country and are returning all we think about is what they are bringing to us, but how they will return is usually not much of a concern to us.”
“Information for returned migrants is a major part that is lacking in most African countries,” she added.
She indicated that returned migrants lose all their monies in wrong investments because they did not receive the right information to make informed choices.
Returned migrants, she pointed out needed to be provided with information and strategies to enable them invest in useful projects that will go a long way to provide jobs for the youth and boost the country’s development
“Anyone who works with them wants to dupe them because they are perceived to have a lot of money,” she said of returned migrants.
Dr Setrana advised the public not to be only concerned about their money but rather have their interest and welfare at heart.
The publication, launched by Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES) in collaboration with the Trades Union Congress (TUC), is specifically intended to provide aspiring migrant workers information on required documentation before they travel, recruitment procedures, worker’s rights and the right to join a trade union.
It also gives information on illegal recruitment practices, support services for migrant workers and contacts of Ghanaian Embassies, High Commissions abroad and reintegration of returned migrants.
Giving highlights of the publication, Mr Frankline Owusu Ansah, Deputy General Secretary of the Health Services Workers Union of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said migration trends have shifted from South-South to South-North
“Migration among Africans far outweighs migration outside Africa and it may be as a result of the crisis in Europe. Africans are migrating to the Gulf states instead of Europe,” he said.
By Pamela Ofori-Boateng
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