STAKEHOLDERS from various West African countries and regional blocs are participating in a two-week training programme on migration management at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra.
Participants are drawn from migration units of Interior Ministries, Foreign Affairs, the Immigration Service, gender protection units and civil society organisations, among others.
They are from Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, the Gambia, Côte d'Ivoire, the African Union (AU), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The programme, which was launched at the centre yesterday, is the first fully fledged academic activity on migration in the West Africa region.
Among topics to be discussed are international cooperation on migration, regional policy making, migration and gender, migration and development, and human rights legal framework of people on the move.
It was developed with support from the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).
The Commandant of KAIPTC, Major General Richard Addo Gyane, said with the world getting increasingly interconnected, the challenge of managing migration had grown dramatically as more people were compelled to move out of their homes by diverse economic, political, social and environmental factors.
He said such challenges had raised concerns of stemming irregular migration, facilitating regular movements, strengthening migration and development links, and ensuring state security while protecting the human rights of migrants.
In line with that, Maj. Gen. Gyane said the course had been developed to equip participants with the knowledge, tools and skills to contribute to, and improve on migration policies and management in Africa, especially West and Central Africa.
“We hope to deliver a training that seeks to provide answers to the challenges arising from migration in the region, expose participants to the legal frameworks, experiences and best practices to help manage issues as well as provide a safe place for discussions, brainstorming and open exchange of ideas,” he added.
The course, the Commandant further said, would offer opportunities to practitioners to learn and critically examine issues at hand and the way forward on how to effectively manage migration, adding that “this way, we can all work together to maximise the development impact for all concerned”.
The Swiss Ambassador to Ghana, Simone Giger, said migration could not be tackled in isolation by a country and, therefore, called for a cross-country approach based on partnerships and cooperation.
“Switzerland is committed to support this course in the future and hope it will constitute a real added value for each participating country and the region.
“I encourage you to actively participate in the course, ask critical questions, debate and exchange experiences, and hopefully you will take home some new tools and know-how, as well as a new network within the region to improve migration management in your home country,” she added.