GIBA schools editors on migration

Accra- The Ghana Independent Broadcasters’ Association (GIBA) in collaboration with UNESCO has given a day’s training to editors on migration.

The training, first in the series of training to deliberate on the challenge of irregular migration that has engulfed Africa, under the Fondo Africa three-year project, is being sponsored by the Italian Government.

The event was held under the theme: Empowering young people in Africa through media and communication.

Mr Pius Enam Hadzide, Deputy Minister for Information, said building the capacity of senior journalists on migration related reportage, experience sharing, and mapping out the way forward for effective reporting is relevant to government’s Ghana Beyond Aid vision.

I don’t think anybody will cross the Sahara and go through these rickety boats in the Mediterranean because they want to. They feel a certain compulsion to do so because at home, the opportunities that they’re looking for are not there- the statistics on Ghanaians intending and actually attempting to migrate is rather worrying, he said.

He said government has a responsibility to create the conditions that would ensure that such migrants would see opportunities in their own countries of birth and origin.

Mr Hadzide said there is the need to discuss irregular migration and highlight the solutions by pointing to opportunities such as the free SHS, ‘Planting for food and jobs’ under the ‘One District One Factory’ and the job centre of the ‘Youth Employment Authority’.

He said this is important because too much negativity and pessimism has the tendency to drive the youth away even from the opportunities that are being created.

The Deputy Minister said the anti-migrant and xenophobic messages on social media has led to marginalization, discrimination and rising violence against migrants and government in curbing the situation was actively engaging social media platforms to introduce meaningful policies and programmes and engage with the citizens.

Mr Giovanni Favilli, the Italian Ambassador to Ghana, said the project is to help the media know about migration to better inform their audience.

He called on the media to balance the freedom they enjoy with their responsibility and feed the public the right information.

Mr Favilli said many of the reports in the media about migration was often inaccurate and does not reflect on the reality, adding that they should avoid fake news.

He said according to a research, 70 percent of Ghanaians when given the chance would migrate whilst 42 percent have the intension to migrate in the next five years, stating that some even disguise themselves to seek asylum.

He said Ghana and Italy would manage the situation which would be a win-win for both countries.

Mr Ernest Boateng, Vice President of the Ghana Independent Broadcasters’ Association (GIBA), said the project launched in January 2019 in Paris-France and adopted by Italy, would have editors trained in Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi to improve quality and professional standards on migration reporting.

It would help the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six – ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and SDG 16 -Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Ms Melody Eklu Boateng, National Professional Officer; Natural Science Sector of UNESCO, who spoke for Mr Abdourahame Diallo, UNESCO representative to Ghana, said the training is to deliberate on the menace of irregular migration that had engulfed many countries in Africa.

The Project is concurrently being implemented in seven African countries including Cameroun, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.

Quoting the United Nations, Ms Boateng said annually, millions of Africans among whom are women, leave their homes in search of better life, stating that out of the 32 million African migrants scattered around the world, nine million live in Europe.

She said the population growth in Africa would be impacted as it would account for 2.4 billion being half of the world’s population by 2050 and four billion in 2100.

This growth would have a great impact on national education systems as well as the labour market, which would have to absorb an increasing number of unskilled young Africans who are unemployed.

Professor Kwame Karikari, the facilitator of the event, urged the media to highlight on irregular migration, what it involves and the cost to help save people from embarking on the deadly voyage.

Fondo Africa is an institution seeking to support and revive the cooperation between Italian Government and African countries and fight irregular immigration and human trafficking through campaigns on migration risks.

Source: Ghana News Agency