Ghana: “Effective International Co-Operation and Solidarity will unleash Full Potential of Migration” – Pres Akufo-Addo

The Presidency, Republic of Ghana
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The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is confident that the fullest potential and benefits of human migration will remain elusive in the absence of effective international cooperation and greater solidarity.

According to President Akufo-Addo, the ability to leverage migration as a source of growth and shared prosperity in every part of the world demands scrupulously neutral assessments of both the proximate and root factors that drive it as well as the benefits and challenges that accompany migratory movements.

The President has been speaking at the Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum organized by Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Teshie in Accra on Wednesday, 28th February, 2024.

Addressing the gathering made up of high-level political leaders, diplomats, scholars and policy makers, under the theme, “Migration and Societal Resilience in a Multipolar World Order: Addressing Conflicts and Building Peace in Africa,” President Akufo-Addo said, migration, as one of the contemporary world’s most pressing and important issues, will without doubt, remain at the centre of the global development and security agenda over the next few decades.

He said, though migratory movements are not without difficulties, “population movements have always been an integral part of the human experience, often providing enormous opportunities, and serving as a vital catalyst for development and shared prosperity for both origin and destination states and societies.”

Even more so, he added that, “the challenges have become increasingly varied and complex within the ongoing context of globalisation and new technologies of communication.”

Citing the 2023 World Development Report, published by the World Bank, he said, with some “184 million people, representing 2.3 percent of the world’s population, living outside of their country of nationality, “the share of working-age adults in many high-income countries that belong to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is declining sharply, as their overall population continues to drop.”

However, he continued, “despite the politics that mark current discourses around migration, declining population trends in the advanced industrialized countries is forcing increased demand for foreign workers to enhance the long-term viability of those economies.”

He quickly added that, this does not, “change the fact that more people in the Global South are seeking to leave their countries than states in the Global North are willing to accept. Meanwhile, the demography of African countries, such as Ghana and Nigeria, are largely characterised by the phenomenon of youth bulge, forcing the need for greater job creation and broader opportunities.”

“The multiple benefits that accompany cross-border migration such as remittances, knowledge and skills transfer have become potent forces for poverty alleviation in low-income countries. The benefits of migration cannot be optimized, however, without reducing the multiple costs that attend it, including the brain drain problem and mass exodus of critical personnel that include doctors and nurses to rich countries. At the national level, massive rural-urban drifts are depleting our breadbaskets of their essential manpower requirements, while the surging cases of farmer-herder conflicts have become a major source of conflict across West Africa,” he underscored.

Refering to the current state of ECOWAS as grappling with multiple sources of insecurity that include violent extremism and democratic reversals coupled with recent decision by the authorities in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger to withdraw from the ECOWAS, not auguring well for the security and stability of our common region, “the recent political turmoil in Senegal, for example, creates a loophole for miscreants to perpetuate insecurity in the region, and deepen the migration crisis.”

He told the gathering that “such developments are deflecting the attention of the Community away from deeper and more meaningful regional integration and economic development that are anchored on the Protocol Relating to the Free Movement of Persons, the Right of Residence and Establishment.”

“Together with my fellow ECOWAS counterparts, we are seeking ways to find amicable solutions to the challenge of ECOWAS integration. The region is at the crossroads, and our actions will determine the trajectory that will set the path for prosperity or destruction for our citizens,” he assured.

He called on participants to consider key questions on what form of global cooperation might enhance the mutual benefits of migration for both countries of origin and destination, or under what conditions might population movement transform into threats to security, and what preventive mechanisms exist?

Whilst asking for consideration on how migration influences societal resilience, he also sought depoliticisation and decolonisation of scholarly and policy discourses on migration.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Presidency, Republic of Ghana.

Source: Apo-Opa

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