Ghana has joined the rest of the continent in celebrating this year’s African Union (AU) Day. Heads of State and Government across the continent have designated 2019 as “The Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons.”
The theme reflects the leaders’ shared determination to deal with the formidable challenges of migration facing Africa, including some of the tragic events we have witnessed recently.
Ghana’s Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, in a statement on the occasion, observed that the celebration presents the continent with an opportunity to mobilise its efforts and resources to deal with migration.
The AU has adopted a Migration Policy Framework and Plan of Action for the period 2018-2030.
It is intended to assist Africa to better manage and benefit from planned migration by providing strategic guidelines to Member States and Regional Economic Communities in the management of migration.
According to the Minister, the Policy calls on each country to formulate and implement its own national policies in accordance with its priorities and resources.
She added that “this is apt because hostile conflicts, wars, natural disasters and economic difficulties have thrust upon the world, a seemingly intractable situation of insecurity, forced migration across perilous oceans and deserts as well as the internal displacement of persons.”
She lamented lately the jihadi activities in the Sahel region of Africa and North-Eastern Nigeria have seriously threatened the stability and security of the region with a considerable impact on human security.
Africa, she said, continues to seek lasting solutions to resolve this phenomenon, which has wreaked havoc on its fragile economies and peoples.
The Minister indicated that the phenomenal rise and mainstreaming of extreme and ultra-right nationalist political groups in Europe and elsewhere have exacerbated the socio-political difficulties which hamper the smooth integration of Africans into the recipient countries.
With over 700 Refugee Camps worldwide and twice the number of inmates in these camps, she said, the sheer volume of refugees and displaced persons overstretch the resources of the international community to deal with the matter.
Thus, she observed that a sustainable model to prevent the outbreak of conflicts, insecurity and socio-economic difficulties that compel people to migrate, seem to be the best option available to deal with this phenomenon.
She called on African governments to strengthen systems that would guarantee inclusive government, deal with political crisis at the teething level and ensure socio-economic prosperity of the continent.
AU Day is commemorated on May 25th annually.