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Second Lady Samira Bawumia has called for an increased focus on entrepreneurship and capacity building for the youth, if illegal migration is to be stemmed.

Second Lady Samira Bawumia has called for an increased focus on entrepreneurship and capacity building for the youth, if illegal migration is to be stemmed.


According to her, it is necessary for the youth to be active participants in nation building rather than seeking refuge and greener pastures outside their own homeland.

“Young people are not just the leaders of tomorrow, you are the leaders of today; you are both your nation’s present and the future and it is important that as citizens and, especially,  you will engage and not be passive, in showing more interest, while getting on board in nation building,” she postulated.

Mrs Bawumia made this remark at a roundtable forum organized by the Office of International Relations of National Union of Ghana Students in Accra.

Delivering the keynote address for the day, the Second Lady noted that government had put in place several policies geared at youth employment generation, and it is crucial for the youth to tap into these opportunities that has been presented to them.

“While government is doing its part, the onus lies on us to challenge ourselves in the areas of entrepreneurship and self-development,” she charged.

She cited the Nation Builders Corp, YEA, National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan and the recently launched Digital Marketing Entrepreneurship Programme, among several others, as interventions to show government’s commitment of developing the youth in Ghana.

“You must be confident in who you are and create opportunity out of adversity and challenge yourselves to be the best, wherever you find yourselves,” she added.

Speaking on the theme, ‘Challenges and Opportunities of African Youth: Migration, the untold Stories’ the second lady  noted that many Ghanaian youth who seek greener pastures abroad show much ingenuity and resilience on the Saharan desert rather than use their energies to develop the nation.

She further pointed out that even though migration was not in itself bad, the experience can either bring about opportunities or risks as well as development or the detriment of the youth.

“A rise in attitudinal change is what we should do, a paradigm shift where we believe that success can also be achieved within our borders,” she advised.

Mrs Bawumia, therefore, re-echoed the need for the Ghanaian youth to grab the opportunities that come their way, irrespective of the challenge they might encounter doing so.

For his part, Chairman for the occasion, Nana Appiagyei Dankawoso I, President of Ghana Pan-African Chamber of Commerce, stated that even though there were opportunities for the youth when they migrate, there is the need for adequate opportunities to be available for them in Ghana in order to avert the issues of illegal migration.

In his contribution, the Deputy Comptroller of the Ghana Immigration Service, Laud Afrifah, revealed that in 2015, the GIS recorded a figure of 3,117 migrants who returned voluntarily into the country while in 2017, the service recorded 4,525 voluntary returnees.

He further revealed that, even though the service got government to ban the recruitment of ladies as domestic servants through the Kotoka International Airport, the so-called agents devised other means of illegally getting their victims out of the country.

Mr Afrifah further disclosed that 200 girls, who were being sent by other means on the Eastern borders, were intercepted

He again disclosed that the Ghana-Niger-Libya route, Ghana-Gulf States-Saudi Arabian-Jordan route and the Ghana-Carribean-Brazil-Panama-Mexico-USA are the major routes which the illegal migrants use.

The Deputy Interior Minister, in his contribution, implored the Embassies in the country to lessen their visa requirements in order for the youth not to use illegal and dangerous routes to travel abroad.