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GHANA WILL REGULATE RECRUITMENT TO THE GULF

General News

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has unveiled measures by the government to regulate the activity of recruitment scouts working to place Ghanaians in employment in the Gulf countries.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has unveiled measures by the government to regulate the activity of recruitment scouts working to place Ghanaians in employment in the Gulf countries.

The Foreign Minister said the interventions will tackle the menace of illegal migration and its associated abuses.

“The ministry is working with other [ministries, departments and agencies] in the context of an interagency committee established by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to institute measures to streamline the recruitment of Ghanaians intending to work in the Middle East and the Gulf countries,” she said.

Ms Botchwey made this known when her ministry took its turn in the Meet the Press series at the Ministry of Information yesterday in Accra.

Partnerships

The Minister told journalists that among the initiatives undertaken to curb the flow of illegal migrants are agreements between Ghana and the Gulf countries on how recruitment of domestic and other workers should be organised.

“The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, through its Compact with Africa (CwA) programme, has built a state-of-the-art skills centre in Accra to provide Ghanaian youth with vocational and technical skills,” she said.

She said migration has become a thorny global problem and can only be addressed properly in the spirit of partnership and respect for international law as well as treaty obligations. This is why Ghana is seeking partnerships across the globe to deal proactively with issues of migration.

Reintegration

The Minister said her ministry, in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), facilitated the voluntary repatriation of about 843 irregular Ghanaian migrants under the Return, Readmission and Reintegration Programme, via a chartered flight from Tripoli, Libya, to Ghana.

She also said that the IOM is currently implementing another project ‒“Strengthening the Management and Governance of Migration and the Sustainable Reintegration or Returning Migrants into Ghana. €3 million has been earmarked for this programme, Ms Botchwey said.

The project will seek to support the Ghanaian government to improve the reintegration of 650 returning migrants and to strengthen national structures to manage the reintegration process in a dignified and sustainable manner.

Consular problems

The Minister also advised the public to be wary of unscrupulous agents facilitating visa acquisition and to be alive to the dangers of travelling without proper documentation.

She touched on the continuing success of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in fulfilling its mandate to provide consular assistance and promote the welfare of Ghanaians both at home and abroad.

In 2018 the ministry received notice of 5,200 welfare-related issues from its missions abroad, 4,797 of which have been resolved.

“Consular assistance was also provided to several Ghanaians stranded in foreign countries. This included the assistance in the repatriation of 31 stranded Ghanaian soccer fans who travelled to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament held in the Russian Federation.

“The ministry also covered the cost of the repatriation of the remains of some deceased Ghanaians abroad. The ministry undertakes this mandate within the constraints of very limited resources, which, sometimes, poses a challenge and undue pressure on the ministry’s finances,” she said.

Oslo saga

Responding to updates on the Norway consular furore, the Foreign Minister said the matter is in court and she would therefore not expand on it.

However, she said that the government is still considering plans to buy a property in Oslo to serve as a chancery for the Ghanaian Embassy there. She explained that renting a building would be very costly and not in the best interests of Ghana.

“We have opened a mission in Oslo with an ambassador resident, and they have a full complement of staff. There is the need for government to buy a property there because Oslo is an expensive city.

“For now, the ambassador is in a one-room apartment which is rented and the chancery is in an office block and they are operating from there,” she said.