The European Union (EU) on February 6, 2020 launched a 5 million euro project to strengthen border security in Ghana at the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) head office in Accra.

This four-year-project dubbed “Strengthening Border Security in Ghana” is aimed at improving border management and security in Ghana, by reducing irregular migration, human trafficking, the smuggling of goods and other cross-border crimes.

It would also ensure greater security for citizens and visitors, while guaranteeing the respect for the rule of law and human rights standards by border management authorities.

The project which has two components, would first focus on providing   support to the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS). This support would consist mainly of border management equipment and training. The Ghana Police Service and the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority would also benefit from joint activities to be executed under the project.

The second component which is dedicated to civil society organisations, media networks and local authorities would see the development of projects to improve the cross-border management of people, goods and services.

The project is funded by European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), and would be implemented by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in collaboration with the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS)

Speaking at the launch,  Mr. Ambrose Dery,  Minister for the Interior,  commended the European Union and the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD)  for   their support to Ghana especially in managing  migration and related issues.

“Distinguished Guests I must acknowledge that the Ghana Immigration Service  (GIS)  has over the years collaborated with the EU and some countries within the EU to implement very strategic projects all directed at effective management of migration in Ghana. The Thematic Programme on Migration and Asylum, the GIS-Danish Project, GIS-UK Project, the GIS-Spanish Project and Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach Project (GIMMA) are some of such collaborative projects” he said.

He alluded international migration was now an inherent and integral part of the globalization process and was more likely to expand than to contract in the coming years.

The Minister also noted that the sustainable benefits of migration could only be derived by putting in place the requisite structures, policies, laws, implementation framework and capacity building of relevant state institutions involved in its management.

 “….  these policy interventions are necessary to maximize its potential benefits and minimize related costs of migration for countries of origin, destination and the migrants themselves” he said.

The Minister thus indicated that, the Project couldn’t have come at a better time than this when the Ghana Immigration Service’s Strategic Plan was in its initial phase of execution and thus required a boost for successful implementation.

“This initiative is part of an overall support to the Government of Ghana’s migration policy”. Mr. Dery said

He assured of government’s commitment to migration issues by providing resources to help relevant actors in migration management achieve their strategic objectives.

This commitment, he disclosed, was in consonance with the overarching aim of Government to secure and protect the rights of the citizenry as in the Better Ghana Agenda.

On her  part,  the Head of  European Union Delegation,  Ambassador Diana ACCONCIA (Mrs.) mentioned that the five pillars  of the Valleta Action plan was central to the E.U thus the support from the EU Trust Fund to deliver an integrated and coordinated response to; address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement; enhance cooperation on legal migration and mobility; reinforce the protection of migrants and asylum seekers; prevent and fight irregular migration,  migrant smuggling and trafficking in human; and work mire closely to improve cooperation on return,  readmission and reintegration.

She further disclosed that, in the spirit of the New Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs, the EU would launch another 20 million euro project dubbed “GrEEn aimed at tackling the root causes of migration, especially by supporting vocation training, hob creation and climate change adaption in the Western and Ashanti regions.