Ghana has inaugurated a national migration platform to back efforts by ECOWAS in optimising positive effects of movement of people in the sub-region and to mitigate consequences that migrations bring to member states.
The interagency platform comprised; representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (ECOWAS unit), Local Government and Rural Development, Gender and Social Protection, also included are; Media Response, a Civil Society Organisation, and the Embassy of Spain/Spanish International Development.
The Executive Director of Media Response, Mr Sam Dodoo, said the coordinating committee was expected to serve as a bridge between the Economic Community of West African States (EOCWAS) Commission and the Member States.
He highlighted the mandate and core functions of the coordinating body in addition to rules and procedures governing it.
He said members were tasked to identify proposals and assess, monitor, control and evaluate projects.
ECOWAS is expected to create a fund on migration and development to support the development and implementation of the bloc’s common approach on migration adopted by heads of state and government in 2008 in Ouagadougou.
Mr Dodoo said a Fund Steering Committee, Technical Management Team and Fund Management Unit had been formed, to provide assistance and expertise for project management, implementation and monitoring to facilitate application of the Fund.
Formation of the platform is a requirement by the West African regional bloc to support the Technical Management Team in overseeing the projects on migration.
In a speech read on her behalf, Mrs Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said Ghana could not afford to ignore issues of migration in the face of global realities like urbanisation, information technology and new resource discoveries.
She said government would pursue a clearly defined holistic policy direction on migration in order to enable the country to derive optimum benefit from its positive effects and minimise the negative consequences of migration.
The Spanish government and ECOWAS were commended for their initiative in introducing the Spain-ECOWAS Fund for migration and development.
Bureau of the National Migration Platform was also inaugurated to coordinate activities and ensure rapid response to demands of the project.
The theme for the inaugurations was: “promoting safer migration for sustainable development.”