Well-managed migration could boost growth – EDA report  

The United Nation Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2018 Economic Development in Africa (EDA) Report, says well-managed migration could provide impetus to economic growth.

It could positively transform the structure of the continent’s economies – a vital means to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

The report, titled, “Migration for structural transformation,” aimed to identify policy pathways that would harness the benefits of African migration and mitigate its negative effects.

It was launched in Accra on behalf of UNCTAD jointly by the UN Information Centre, the Interior Ministry, the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) and Cicada Limited.

Mr. Ambrose Dery, the Interior Minister, said issues concerning migration would continue to be given serious attention by the government and this was evident from the launch of the national migration policy.

He also cited the 24-hour opening of the country’s major entry points to allow for free movement of persons and goods in the sub-region in line with the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol.

Additionally, the government had gone a step further to implement a visa on arrival policy regime at a reduced fee for Africans.

Mr. Philip Cobbina, Managing Partners with Cicada Consulting Limited, reviewing the report, said it adopted an innovative, human-centred narrative to explore how migrants contributed to structural transformation.

It identified opportunities for absorption of extra labour in different sectors across the continent.

He said contrary to the perception that many Africans migrated to Europe, the greater percentage was indeed happening within the continent.

“This report argues that this intra-African migration is an essential ingredient for deeper regional and continental integration. 

At the same time, the broad patterns of extra-continental migration out of Africa confirm the positive contribution of migrants to the structural transformation of origin countries.” 

He said the UNCTAD report showed that lack of policy coherence on migration, trade, investment and technology had not been helpful to the industrialization of the continent.

Mr. Eric Kwame Akomanyi, Project Assistant Migration and Development at IOM, said efforts were being made to address one of the critical findings of the study – the high cost of remittance to Ghana.

The Organization was working together with other stakeholders to find ways to help Ghanaians outside to send money home at a lower cost.

He spoke of the need to take measures to ensure that remittances translated into investment.

A recent baseline assessment of remittances in the country by the IOM revealed that 79 percent of the money received was used to cover daily needs – food, clothes, household goods and rent.

Source: GNA

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