Accra, The 10th Anniversary International Conference of the Centre for Migration Studies (CMS), University of Ghana, has opened in Accra with a call on governments to come out with policies to promote safe migration.
The Conference on the theme, Migration, Security and Development, brought together the academia, researchers, migration experts and stakeholders to deliberate on possible ways of promoting migration positively on the continent.
The CMS was inaugurated in November 2007 to undertake research, teaching and training, capacity building, policy assessment and dissemination in the field of migration.
Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister of the Interior, who made the call, said despite the enormous gains from the activities of migration, one should also not lose sight of the fact that it brings in its wake, challenges, which required effective border management.
He said the porous borders of the Africa Continent called for a standardized screening, registration and document issuance mechanism, which adheres to international standards and best practices such as readable biometric passports, biometric National Identity cards and credible birth and death registration.
He said to ensure the security of all, the Ghana Immigration Act has been passed, to allow officers at the borders to acquire weapons to protect all persons.
The Government is also putting in measures to provide the security services with the essential logistics to operate efficiently. The Government will soon embark on a recruitment exercise to beef up the staff strength of the security personnel, to ensure that all citizens and properties are protected, he said.
Mr Dery said Ghana currently has a Migration Policy, which if operationalised, would help address the issue of irregular migration and other related issues that affect the sustainable development of the nation.
He urged the Conference to come out with a communique on the best practices of curbing irregular migration, human trafficking and other illicit activities at the borders and most especially in Ghana, to enhance national development.
I would be happy to receive the outcome of your deliberations and assure you of Government’s commitment to make good on its obligation to implement best international practices, he said.
Mr Charles Owiredu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said migration contributes in diverse way to the socio-economic development of Ghana.
He commended the CMS for its efforts and collaboration in drafting the National Migration and Diaspora Policies for the Ministry, adding that, it marked the beginning of their engagement.
Dr Joseph Teye, Director of CMS, University of Ghana, said the Centre had made significant strides in teaching, research and extensions.
He said the Centre currently runs three fee paying postgraduate programmes, namely, MA, MPhil and PhD in Migration Studies and has since 2010, churned out 115 MA/MPhil students and seven PhD students, many of whom are working with reputable local and international organisations.
Dr Teye said the Centre’s visibility was increased both locally and globally through their collaborations and engagements with international organisations and expressed his gratitude to organisations, stakeholders and individuals who in diverse ways assisted the Centre to achieve those strides.
Currently, there are 43 MA/MPhil students and 24 PhD students studying at the Centre.
Professor Tekyiwaa Manuh, Former Director, Social Development Policy Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, urged Ghana to take active interest in the Global Compact and adopt it to make it become useful for the country.
She said: Until we restructure the economy regionally and continentally, we’re not going to make any head way.
Source: Ghana News Agency