Ghana’s Youth Debate on the Development and Migration Nexus
Accra/Koforidua – Over 50 students from Senior High Schools and tertiary educational institutions engaged in a debate, quiz, and information sessions on 14 August in Koforidua, Ghana’s Eastern Region’s capital city, during the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Community Day Out organized by the SDG Advisory Unit of the Office of the President of Ghana and support by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
“We were impressed by a creative impromptu performance: one student spontaneously went on stage to recite a poem making a call for safe migration, a clear sign for us that the youth has a strong voice and an important role to play in the safe migration campaign,” concluded Collins Yeboah, IOM Community Outreach Assistant.
IOM Ghana used the occasion to organize two sessions on safe migration and the dangers of irregular migration in two communities around Koforidua, attended by approximately 200 citizens in the frame of its awareness raising activities.
Since 2014 IOM has been travelling across Ghana to inform the general public, particularly the youth, on the risks of irregular migration and the availability of safer migration opportunities in the country. For the first time, awareness raising activities took place in the Eastern Region, one of the emerging regions prone to irregular migration in the country.
The awareness-raising activities were organized with the support of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and implemented by IOM. So far, 85,000 individuals have been reached through radio programmes on the dangers and alternatives to irregular migration, 12,000 through awareness-raising sessions in schools and 9,600 through community-awareness activities.
Since May 2017, IOM has facilitated the return of over 1000 Ghanaians, primarily from Libya, but also from Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. Of these returns, over 4.5% have returned to the Eastern Region.