More than 5000 Ghanaians got to Italy by boat

Accra Mr William Hanna, the European Union Ambassador to Ghana, has said 5,636 Ghanaians arrived in Italy by boat in 2016.

This figure was 27 per cent higher than that of 2015.

Mr Hanna, who announced this at a handing over ceremony of equipment by the International Organisation of Migration to the Ghana Immigration Service, in Accra, pointed out that these figures, however, did not account for the number of Ghanaians who arrived in Italy, claiming to be from other countries.

More sadly, these figures do not account for the number of young Ghanaians, Ghanaian women and men who have died between the Northern border of Ghana and the Southern border of Europe, he stated.

Mr Hanna emphasised that the top priority of the European Union was to save the lives of migrants.

He explained that mobility could benefit both Europe and Africa; but it must happen legally and safely, and by not turning the Mediterranean and the Sahara into mass graves.

This is the core message since the Valletta Summit, and the basis of our partnership with Africa and with Ghana, he said.

He said the European was in discussion with colleagues from the Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs and with all stakeholders in Ghana to see how more could be done to help solve the problem of illegal migration.

Meanwhile, the equipment, valued at GH?2.3 million include two four-wheel drive double Cabin Nissan Pick-Ups, with their accessories, computers, motorbikes, Anti-Virus-Kaspersky 2016, Flashlights, Swivel Chairs, Projectors and Statistical Analysis Software (Analytic Pro).

They would be deployed to the Migration Information Bureau Unit, Border Patrol Unit and the Management Information Unit of the GIS.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), with funding from the European Union made the donation possible to enhance the GIS’ capacity to effectively manage Ghana’s borders.

Source: Ghana News Agency

‘Implementation of IPEP will not create conflict of roles’

Accra, Mr Osei Bonsu Amoah, a Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, said plans to allocate one million dollars to each constituency under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme would not create conflicting roles between zonal authorities and the assemblies.

Mr Amoah, who was contributing to a panel discussion at the maiden Policy Summit in Accra, said the assemblies would assist the zonal implementing authorities in coordinating and harmonising activities to ensure successful execution of the programme.

He said over the years assemblies had been implementing projects funded by donor agencies and Central Government because they had the infrastructure and administrative machinery to execute them.

Under the Infrastructure for Poverty Eradication Programme (IPEP), he said government would allocate 275 million dollars to the development of basic infrastructure in 275 constituencies to embark on poverty alleviation projects.

Government would also establish three development authorities namely the Northern Development Authority, the Middle Belt Development Authority and the Coastal Development Authority to oversee the implementation of the programme.

The Policy Summit was organised by the Ministry of Information on the theme: ”Building Partnerships for Growth and Jobs.

The event provided a platform for stakeholders in the public and private sectors to dialogue on key government policies and programmes and solicit feedback from them to ensure effective implementation.

Mr Amoah noted that when agencies and government remit resources for investments at the district level, the local authorities coordinate activities to ensure those investments created jobs and wealth and yielded the needed dividends for the people.

Mr Yoofi Grant, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), commenting on the IPEP, said the programme would democratise development in the country because every district would have productive business to boost its local economy.

He said the Development Fund would create a conducive environment for jobs and wealth as well as curb rural-urban migration.

”It will create avenues for expansion of the country’s economy because more jobs will be created and government’s fiscal policy will get a boost by way of getting revenues through payment of taxes,” he said.

The IPEP was in line with the promises made by the New Patriotic Party in the run-up to the 2016 General Election.

The programme would focus on agriculture, agribusiness and slum upgrading as well as other government flagship programmes like ‘One District, One Factory’, ‘One Village, One Dam’ and ‘One District, one Warehouse’.

Other IPEG initiatives included the expansion of health infrastructure such as Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) compounds to improve health delivery and small-water systems to improve provision of potable water to all parts of the country.

The event brought together captains of industries, government officials, diplomatic corps, Members of Parliament, civil society organisations and the media to brainstorm on the project.

Source: Ghana News Agency

EU supports GIS to make border monitoring successful

Accra, The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), with funding from the European Union, has handed over vehicles, Information and Communication Technology equipment and other items to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to enhance their capacity to effectively manage borders.

The equipment, valued at GH?2.3 million include two four-wheel drive double Cabin Nissan Pick-Ups, with their accessories, computers, motorbikes, Anti-Virus-Kaspersky 2016, Flashlights, Swivel Chairs, Projectors and Statistical Analysis Software (Analytic Pro).

They would be deployed to the Migration Information Bureau Unit, Border Patrol Unit and the Management Information Unit of the GIS.

They were acquired under the European Union-funded Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach (GIMMA) project, which aims to bolster the Government’s migration management efforts through enhanced border management and strengthened data collection mechanisms.

It would also enable potential migrants to make informed migration decisions.

Mr William Hanna, the Head of European Union (EU) expressed concern about the state of migration to the European countries saying, In 2016 a total of 5,636 Ghanaians arrived in Italy by boat, which was an increase of over 27 per cent as compared to 2015.

He stated that the top priority of the EU was to save the lives of migrants.

Mobility can benefit both Europe and Africa- but it must happen legally and safely, not by turning the Mediterranean and the Sahara into mass graves, he said.

This is the core message since the Valletta Summit, and the basis of our partnership with Africa and with Ghana.

Mr Kwame Asuah Takyi, the Comptroller-General of the GIS, extolled the achievements of the GIMMA project, which he said, embraced the finalisation of the GIS Training Syllabus and Curriculum, the construction of five ultra-modern posts along the Eastern and Western regions and the construction of a 70-Seater ICT laboratory at the Training School at Assin Foso.

He, therefore, expressed appreciation to the EU and its member countries for their continuous support.

Mr Henry Quartey, the Deputy Minister for the Interior, said the Government fully identified with, and shared the commitment of the International Community and supported the principle that humane and orderly migration benefited the host and origin countries as well as migrants.

Government, therefore, views the commitment and support of our development partners as crucial in the fight against irregular migration through burden sharing to effectively manage migration in our mutual interests, he said.

Ms Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, the Chief of Mission at the International Organisation for Migration, commended the EU and reminded the GIS of the need for the application of proper care in handling the equipment to serve its intended purposes.

The donated IT equipment and vehicles would be used at the GIS Headquarters, Kotoka International Airport and the Aflao, Elubo and Paga borders.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Curfew hours on Bankprugu

Accra, The Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Derry, has on the advice of the Northern Regional Security Council, and by Executive Instrument, renewed the curfew hours on the Bunkprugu Township from 8:00 pm to 6:00am, effective Tuesday 16th, 2017.

A release from the Ministry and copied to the Ghana News Agency said: Government continues to urge chiefs, opinion leaders, youth and people of the area to exercise restraint in the face of the challenges confronting them, and use non-violent means to channel their energies into ensuring peace in the area.

There was, meanwhile, a total ban on all persons in the Bankprugu Township and surrounding areas from carrying any weapons.

Any person found with weapons would be arrested and prosecuted, the release said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Birim Central Municipal Assembly endorses nominee

Akim Oda (E/R), Fifty seven out of the 58 assembly members including government appointees in the Birim Central Municipality have endorsed the President’s nominee, Mr Kwabena Bempong.

Mr Bempong, the former Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Oda Constituency, thus had 100 per cent votes during the election held at the Municipal Assembly Hall.

Mr Eric Kwakye Daffour, the Eastern Regional Minister, charged the Municipal Chief Executive to work assiduously and to respect the rights of the people since his work demanded collaborative support.

Mr Bempong assured the people of hard work and co-operation.

Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo, the Senior Minister, was present to grace the occasion.

Source: Ghana News Agency