respond to EU migrant fund with caution
The European Union believes dedicating millions of euros to
African governments can help ease the migration crisis. Ghanaians
don’t totally agree.
After two days of negotiations and deliberations, European Union
leaders approved a 1.8 billion euro ($2 billion) ‘trust fund’ for
Africa. The funds will be used for supporting efforts at preventing
conflict, creating jobs, supporting health and educational services,
thereby preventing irregular migration to Europe. African leaders
will have to be prepared to use part of the funds to resettle
deported economic migrants, something not all of them are excited
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and
Development (OECD), over 300,000 Ghanaians left the country for
Europe and the US between 2010 and 2011. However, the numbers have
recently increased. Some of the would-be Ghanaian migrants such as
Joseph Kpo, a resident in the capital Accra, said the fund was
simply too little. “If they want us to stop coming they should bring
us what they took from us,” Kpo said. “The money they are giving us
is not even equivalent to one-quarter of what they took from us.”
Several young Ghanaians who continue to engage in irregular and
illegal migration, told DW correspondent in Accra Isaac Kaledzi,
their main reasons for leaving Ghana remains poor standards of
living and the lack of opportunities.
To stay home or leave?
Sidik Mensah, a young resident of Accra, was also unsure about
what the new EU migrant trust fund could achieve. “If the president
has accepted it and it will help us to get jobs and everything here,
then we are not going to travel.” However, Mensah said the country’s
economic situation was not very promising. “That’s why if I had the
opportunity I will travel,” he added.
The challenge for African governments like that of Ghana is to
convince young people still wishing to travel abroad, why they would
be better off staying in their home countries.
Development analyst and renowned Ghanaian politician, Abu Sakara
told DW, European leaders had opted for a quick-fix solution to the
global migration crisis. “It is too simplistic to simply dish out
money and hope that the problem will stop,” Sakara said.
“I think we need to look at where that money is invested and work
our way up all along the value chain.” He said there was need to
ensure that jobs are created which will give young men and women the
kind of lives they crave for in Africa.
Right information on migration
Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, Ghana’s chief of mission at the International
Organization for Migration (IOM), said any proposed solution that
does not target the youth is bound to fail. “We need to focus and
invest in an information campaign because there is a lot of
misinformation among young people,” Lopez-Ekra said.
She said many young people don’t realize the threats and dangers
of irregular migration. “Sometimes, they even put so much money in
the hands of smugglers, money that they could use to do something
Ghanaian government officials have backed President John Mahama’s
decision to collaborate with his European counterparts to stop
Ghanaians from migrating to Europe using dangerous routes.
Eric Opoku Manu, a regional minister who has been spearheading a
campaign that seeks to discourage young people who are bent on
migrating to Europe, told reporters that to curb the practice, civil
society groups and the media need to join hands. “We have to work
together with our brothers and sisters. We must all be ambassadors
of this cause, the cause is to ensure that our people refrain from
this irregular migration,” Manu said.
A number of Ghanaians have lost their lives as they sought to
cross into Europe via smuggling routes.
Source: Deutsche Welle