Migration Information Center established in Ghana

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and Brong Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council recently established a Migration Information Center (MIC) in Sunyani, Ghana.

The goal of the center is to serve as a place where migrants or those considering migration can get information on legalities and necessary documents.

The project was funded by the European Union as part of the Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach project, an initiative of the IOM and GIS.

“One of the reasons why people resort to irregular migration is a lack of information about how to travel legally and the real dangers of irregular routes," IOM Ghana Chief of Mission Sylvia Lopez-Ekra said. "Empowering migrants with correct knowledge is one of the most effective ways to protect potential migrants from unnecessary harm and loss of life.”

William Hanna, head of the EU in Ghana, agreed.

"To tackle [irregular migration] a worldwide debate is essential," Hanna said. "But equally important are local initiatives like this one in Sunyani. The EU will continue working with Ghana's central and local authorities and civil society to manage migration, avoid unnecessary deaths and suffering and offer concrete alternatives to emigration for the young generation."

Statistics showed in 2015 4,431 Ghanaians migrated to Italy; many Ghanaians also attempt to reach Libya or Europe. In 2011, after the Libyan revolution, in excess of 18,000 Ghanaian migrants were able to come home with assistance from Ghanaian officials and IOM representatives.

“Over the years, the Ghana Immigration Service, as a lead agency in migration management in Ghana, has tried to bring to the fore the dangers of irregular migration as well as the benefits of safe migration to the Ghanaian populace, sometimes with assistance from development partners, particularly the EU and its member countries," Acting GIS Director Felix Sarpong said. "The construction of the MIC will further assist the GIS to effectively educate migrants and potential migrants on the dangers of irregular migration and the need to migrate legally.”

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