Patience Gbeze, GNA
Koforidua (E/R), Jan
27, GNA – Professor Joseph Teye, Director of Centre for Migration Studies
(CMS), University of Ghana has said Ghana needs
holistic migration policy that will help maximise the benefits of
migration and minimise the negative and risk factors.
He said as at 2015
Ghana’s remittance savings stood at about $4.9 billion and that declined a
little bit of about $3.5 billion recently, and emphasised the need to look at
how to leverage the benefits of remittances for development.
He said the migration
policy stated that there should be a Migration commission that would advise on
policy implementation and they had started work with the setting up of the
“The Ministry of The
Interior has done well by forming an Inter-Ministerial working group and we
started our work about a month ago,” he added.
Prof Teye said this
on the side-line of the just-ended second multi-stakeholders’ workshop to
promote intra-regional mobility within the ECOWAS region – by enhancing the
capacity of participants to address the obstacles to the full implementation of
the ECOWAS Free Movement Protocol in Ghana and Sierra Leone.
It is also to
provide a platform for participants from Ghana and Serra Leonne to discuss
mechanisms and strategies for addressing the various challenges associated with
the implementation of the ECOWAS Free Movement protocol and to finalise the
The workshop was
organised by the Migration and Development partnerships for Right-based
Migration and mobility Governance in, and the West Africa (MADE, West Africa
The MADE West Africa
Project was a three development project funded by the European Union and is
being implemented by three Partners: International Catholic Migration
Commission 9 ICMC); Belgium, African Foundation for Development AFFORD, UK, and
Centre for Migration Studies University of Ghana, Legon.
objective is to promote good governance of migration and mobility and
protection of migrants’ rights, with a view of enhancing the development
benefits of migration and mobility in West Africa, among others.
Prof Teye, who is
also a member of the Inter-Ministerial working Group, said: “The other issue
the policy wants to look at is migrants’ protection, so the policy provides
frameworks to reduce some of the abuses and risks some of these migrants go
through when travelling to other countries”.
The policy, he said,
also had sections that dealt with returning migration, “so we thought it wise
of having a policy of reintegration of migrants who returned back or those
migrated to other countries and returned to Ghana”.
Awumbila, the Project Coordinator of MADE West Africa project the draft roadmap
was identified by the previous participants to find the key issues to deal with
the state of implementation, as well as actions to be taken to address those
She said the
participants, would look at and work on developing it further, so that they
could present it to the government, and wait on the outcome.
Prof Awumbila said
the roadmap was suggestions that would be put forward to government, and “we
are not binding government on its implementation.”
of the protocol has not being all that bad, fortunately the positives outweighs
the negatives, it is good to look at the positives and see how we can analyse
it and make sure the barriers are reduced.
Touching on the
impasse between Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) and their Nigerian counterparts,
she said: “Once Ghana is a signatory to the ECOWAS Free Movement Protocol then,
we are binding by its laws.
“Perhaps it is about
time that we look at our national laws and see how we can harmonise it with the
ECOWAS laws to benefit all.
“Certainly, there is
a lot of advantages in terms of regional integration. Integrating the ECOWAS
economy means all citizens will get access to markets of other countries and we
will get people to come.
“Once that is
recognised, we can see how we will harmonise our laws and see how best we can
address the negatives, so that locals too will not feel they are losing out because
other nationals are coming in and they are losing their jobs,’ she added.
The ECOWAS in
recognition of the potential of intra-regional mobility to promote economic
development in both migrant receiving and sending areas, adopted the Protocol
on Free Movement of Persons, Right of Residence and Establishment in 1979.
Since then, a number
of supplementary protocols have been designed to facilitate the flow of goods,
services and labour and labour within the ECOWAS region.