Press review of may 2017 on migration in West Africa

Keywords : Newsletters Human and trade union rights Peace And Security Migration

Experts meet on developing common African migration policy
Migration experts from several African countries are meeting in Uganda to develop a common continental policy on migration. The meeting dubbed Third Pan African Forum on Migration (PAFoM) is held under the theme “Towards a Common African Position on the Global Compacts on Migration and on Refugees.” The PAFoM is an African Union initiative with the support of the International Organization on Migration and Regional Economic Communities. The first PAFoM meeting took place in Ghana in 2014, and the second was in Zambia in 2016. (Read more)

Ghana launches national migration platform
Ghana has inaugurated a national migration platform to back efforts by ECOWAS in optimising positive effects of movement of people in the sub-region and to mitigate consequences that migrations bring to member states. The interagency platform comprised; representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (ECOWAS unit), Local Government and Rural Development, Gender and Social Protection, also included are; Media Response, a Civil Society Organisation, and the Embassy of Spain/Spanish International Development. (Read more)

Nigeria: Immigration Rescues 8 Victims of Human Trafficking in Katsina
No fewer than eight suspected Europe-bound victims of human trafficking have been intercepted at Babban Mutun border, Katsina State, by immigration operatives. The Comptroller of Immigration Service, Katsina State Command, Mohammed Yaro Rabiu, who made this known to newsmen in his office, said the victims were about to cross the border through irregular route to Agadez in Niger Republic en route to Europe through Libya. (Read more)

New Gambia-EU ties focus on debt, migration
Following Mr Jammeh’s dramatic ouster after the democratic elections in December 2016, one of the new government’s first tasks is to restore relations with the European Union and other international donors. This is made all the more urgent as the country looks to plug debt inherited from the Jammeh regime estimated at more than $1bn – well over 100 percent of GDP for the small west African nation. (Read more)

Don’t take laws into your hands, NIS warns personnel
The Cross River Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has warned its personnel to desist from taking the law into their hands, especially when handling cases of illegal migrants. Mrs Funke Adeuyi, the Comptroller of NIS in the state, gave the warning in Calabar during a capacity workshop for officers and men of the command. (Read more)

Ghanaian migrants are now transnational – Dr Setrana
Dr Mary Boatemaa Setrana, Centre for Migration Studies, University of Ghana, has said Ghanaian migrants are now more transnational than before. She said they also keep in touch with their families, visit regularly and participate in funerals and festivals, with increased remittances. She said the situation was as a result of advancement in technical and communication skills adding that migration was not necessarily negative and that it needed to be managed for its benefits to be realised. (Read more)

Sierra Leone : FMM project capacitates MDAs on Protection of Migrant Workers
Notwithstanding the rewarding experience that comes with migration, there are enough evidences to suggest that a significant number of migrant workers human rights are being violated. Media reports buzzed with cases of migrants being abused, enslaved and allegedly killed. However, as a way of maximizing the benefits of migration and protection of migrants and their families, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) of Sierra Leone started drawing a Labour Migration Policy and subsequently, requested for technical assistance from from the Demand Driven Facility (DDF) within the framework of the “Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa” (FMM West Africa) Project. The FMM West Africa Project Supports the Training of Ministries, Departments and Agencies on Protection and Empowerment of Migrant Workers and their Families in Sierra Leone and Destination Countries. (Read more)

A Nigerian’s nightmare failed bid to migrate to Europe
This year alone over 40,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean, many of them are Nigerians. The BBC’s Martin Patience has been to Nigeria’s Benin City where many of the migrants start their journey. (Read more)

GIS gets equipment from EU for border monitoring
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 GHC2.3 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). (Read more)

War-torn Libya has become a ’torture archipelago’ for migrants sold into slavery
Wracked by civil war, terrorism and political instability, Libya is now grappling with the resurgence of a pernicious old problem: an active slave trade that sees countless migrants forced into a life of exploitation and abuse. (Read more)

Ghana: One Year after launch, National Migration Policy not implemented - ACILA
The National Migration Policy (NMP) of Ghana which was launched by government in April 2016 with pledges to ensure its implementation, has not been implemented, laments research and education think tank, Africa Center for International Law and Accountability (ACILA). (Read more)

Ghana: ‘US Embassy issues thousands of visas to migrants annually’
Mr Robert Jackson United States of America (USA) Ambassador to Ghana has announced that the U S Embassy issued thousands of visas to legal migrants and tourists to travel to the States annually. He advised Ghanaians to be honest in applying for visas and not to mislead the Embassy in their bid to acquire visas. (Read more)

UNECA Convenes Technical Meeting of High Level Panel on Migration
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) convened a technical meeting to work-out modalities of the launching of the High Level Panel on Migration in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The High-Level Panel on Migration (HLPM) was set up by the African Union and the United Nations in 2016 through UNECA. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf chairs the panel, which comprises Liberia, Canada, China Malta, and Norway as well as the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Migration Organization (IMO) has been named to Chair the HLPM beyond 2017. The HLPM will be launched in Monrovia on June 6, 2017 and President Sirleaf will continue to chair the process after her tenure at the presidency, until July 2018. (Read more)

Migrant Workers Union reacts to decision on mining
The Migrants Labour General Workers’ Union (MLGWU) has declared support for government’s decision to sanitise the mining environment while waiting for a new policy on the fate of the migrant workers in the country. In a statement signed by Mr Muniratu Iddrisu Sampa, the President of the Union and Mr Justice Baako Ntarmah, the General Secretary and copied to the Ghana News Agency, encouraged the affected migrant labour workers to remain resolute. (Read more)

Why we need more migrants - EU ambassador to Nigeria
The Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Michel Arrion has said that European countries need more migrants to offset their ageing and declining population. Arrion said member states of the European Union believe in the possibility of improving the number of regular migrants but the root causes of irregular migration must be addressed. “There are terrible stories of migrants and criminal networks here in Nigeria and in Europe,” the envoy told journalists in Abuja during a briefing on the EU’s 60th Anniversary. (Read more)

Ghana needs measures to stop illegal migration- Dr Ocansey
Dr Princess Ocansey, a renowned International Migration Expert, has noted that Ghana needs crucial steps both in the long and short term, to reduce the nation’s growing migrant issues. She said:" 7000 Ghanaian undocumented migrants are being deported from the US back to Ghana. Especially housemaids are being deported daily from the Arab Gulf States, we must sit up," she told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra. (Read more)

Worsening hunger crises stoke global migration – UN study
The more people go hungry at home the more likely they are to migrate, according to a United Nations study released on Friday as the world grapples with four potential famines simultaneously for the first time in recent history. The number of people fleeing a country increases by 1.9 per cent for each percentage increase of food insecurity, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said in the first report to comprehensively analyse the link between hunger and migration. (Read more)

Here is not my home!
“There are jobs in the Volta Region for masons like me, but they are not too many. It is the big construction firms that get all the contracts and pay us the masons as they want,” 23-year-old Divine says. Divine, a mason from Tsitsito in the North Tongu District in the Volta Region of Ghana, migrated to Accra because of poor salaries and low frequency of jobs in the Volta region.
Like many migrants who move from rural areas of the country to the cities, Divine says his family members consented to his migration and gave him their blessings. (Read more)

37,000 Nigerians migrated to Italy in 2016, says Laura Boldrini
No fewer than 37, 000 Nigerians migrated to Italy in 2016, according to the President of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini. Boldrini who made this known during a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, expressed support for a unified effort by both Nigeria and Italy to check the ugly trend and terrorism. Boldrini who did not specify as to whether the immigrants entered Italy legally or not remarked that Italy stands by Nigeria’s side to combat terrorism even as it appreciates ongoing effort to tackle the menace since it remains a threat to the entire world. (Read more)

Ghana: Minister to support Immigration address challenges
Minister for the Interior Ambrose Dery has assured the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) of the ministry’s support to achieve the objectives of managing migration and the country’s borders effectively for national development. He said the Interior Ministry was aware of the numerous challenges the GIS was saddled with, especially in the area of capacity building, information technology equipment, weapons and robust vehicles. He affirmed that the ministry would collaborate with the service in implementing some provisions in the new Immigration Service Act, 2016 (Act 908) to boost the operations of the service. (Read more)

Skyrocketing costs for returning EU migrants
The EU is spending millions forcibly sending people back to their home countries with one case costing up to €90,000 per head. An EUobserver probe of some 100 joint return flights coordinated by the EU’s border agency, Frontex, has revealed some startling facts. The researched cases date from the start of 2015 to October 2016, with the numbers indicating huge costs for returning the thousands of migrants residing in European countries. (Read more)

Ghana: Mass migration hits cocoa growing community in Ashanti region
Timeabu is a cocoa growing community located on the Ejisu-Kwaso road. It is about 20 kilometers off the main Kumasi- Accra Highway. The town’s significant contribution to Ashanti Region’s share of cocoa production and potential to do more are undoubted. However, the youth are not interested in farming as ageing farmers struggle to make most out of their sweat and toil. Mohammed Ali is 75 year old farmer. He says most young ones who should assist on the farms continue to leave the community. “Most of us are very old; the absence of electricity is really a challenge. I had so many young ones who support us in our farm. But they are all leaving the community. There is nobody to assist you in your farms. We really need electricity hear”. (Read more)

Nigeria: 1,134 Nigerians Deported in 3 Months - NAPTIP Boss
The Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Julie Okah-Donli has revealed that no fewer than 1,134 Nigerians have been deported from various parts of the world back to Nigeria in the past three months (From February to April 2017). She said "The deportations followed various migration offences including human trafficking, Smuggling of migrants, non-possession of valid travel documents amongst other". (Read more)

1,968 Ghanaians were refused entry to other countries or deported in the year 2016
The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) says 1,968 Ghanaians who travelled abroad were either deported or refused entry after arriving at their destination. The breakdown of the figure from the 827 figure recorded in 2015.shows that 1,245 Ghanaians were refused entry into various destinations abroad for failing to meet their respective entry conditions in 2016. This represents a 50.5% increase. (Read more)

OXFAM: Growing African repression causing migrant exodus
African countries are becoming increasingly repressive and causing more people to leave their homes, British charity Oxfam said, as Germany warned of the destabilising effect migration is having on the continent. Oxfam’s executive director Winnie Byanyima said that “repressive laws on freedom of association and speech” were “a driver of migration.” German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned at the gathering that “if we fail to stabilise the African continent in the years and decades to come, we will face increasing geopolitical risks” — including more migrant arrivals in Europe. (Read more)

Sweden Football Association moves to block Kingsley Sarfo’s Black Stars call-up
Sweden FA have moved to prevent talented youngster Kingsley Sarfo from playing for Ghana by asking the country’s immigration authorities to hand the midfielder Swedish citizenship, can exclusively report.The move by the Swedish FA (SvFF) comes just four days after Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah handed the highly-talented Sirius attacking midfielder his maiden Black Stars call-up.The midfielder, who plays in the attacking midfield of left-wing position, was part of the 30-man Ghana squad called for the matches against Ethiopia, Mexico and USA. (Read more)

How 15,000 Doctors Dump Nigeria For Overseas
A reliable source at the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) told New Telegraph that “over 15,000 doctors have travelled out of Nigeria to developed countries where they are now practising medicine.” President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Mike Ogirima, confirmed that between 10,000 and 15,000 Nigerian doctors are working outside the country. Ogirima told New Telegraph that about 90 per cent of those working outside the country are trained in Nigeria where they acquired their capacity. (Read more)

UN Migration Agency to Lead SDG Related Migration and Development Project in Ghana and Ethiopia
On 3 May 2017 the UN Migration Agency (IOM) signed an agreement with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) to launch a new two-year project in Ghana and Ethiopia. The project is aimed at strengthening migration governance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). (Read more)

Nigeria Labour Congress urges FG, AU to kick against maltreatment of migrants
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Federal Government to partner with the African Union to kick against maltreatment of African migrants by the European countries. Mr Ayuba Wabba, NLC president, who made the call in Abuja while speaking with newsmen, said that over 10, 000 Nigerians are in various detention camps waiting to be deported. (Read more)

Ghana: Flush out illegal migration agencies – GHAPEA tasks Govt
As parts of its efforts of championing the cause of legal migration in Ghana, the government has been tasked to help eliminate illegal migration agencies operating in the country. It is obvious that, these illegal agencies operate with impunity, dragging the name of the noble business which creating numerous job opportunities for the youth into disrepute and also causing harm the country. Addressing Journalists at press conference in Accra, the Chairman of Ghana Association of Private Employment Agencies (GHAPEA) Alhaji Saeed A.M. Shereef, hinted that there are about three hundred (300) illegal agencies operating so far in the country.(Read more)

Security: IOM partners ECOWAS on harmonised migration data
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) is to partner with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in having a functional and reliable harmonised migration data for the sub-region. The IOM Chief of Mission in Nigeria, Ms Enira krdzalic‎, disclosed this at the end of a workshop/training on Migration Data Management in ECOWAS on Thursday in Abuja. The IOM officer stressed the need for effective migration management and adequate data on migrants in the ECOWAS sub-region for proper planning and policy implementation. (Read more)

Ghana cannot ignore migration dynamics – Information Minister
Minister of Information, Mr Mustapha Abdul-Hamid, has called for increased media reportage on migration for better public appreciation of the subject matter because it has become a regional and global concern. He said the realities and dynamics of migration in the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) sub-region makes it impossible for Ghana to ignore it impact on economic development. “Given the contemporary migration realities and dynamics as well as global processes of urbanization, development of technology including ICT and new natural resource discoveries, Ghana cannot ignore its impact on economic development,” he added. The Minister was speaking at the press launch of ‘ECOWAS Free Movement and Migration Project’ in Accra. (Read more)

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