By Samira Larbie, GNA
Accra, July 11, GNA - The International Organisation on Migration (IOM UN Migration) in collaboration with Youth Advocates Ghana has rewarded the five winners of a social media campaign on migration.
The aim of the campaign was to amplify the voices of young people in the migration debate and feed them into Ghana’s Voluntary National Report (VNR) which focuses on the national policy and regulatory environment for the SDGs.
The winners include Master Samuel Abroquah, who took the first position and was given a laptop and souvenirs; Master Musah Mohammed Hafiz, placed second and received a tablet and souvenirs.
The others are Master Francis Ametepey, who placed third and received a tablet amongst other souvenirs; Ms Ellen Lindsey Awuku, on the fourth position got a mobile phone and souvenirs; whiles Maame Akua Fosua Fosu received a mobile phone and souvenirs as well.
Ms Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, the IOM UN Migration Chief of Mission Ghana, Benin and Togo, said Ghana is at a critical moment where the country is looking at how well it has made progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of which migration is key.
She said migration is an important drive for development but at the same time there are some negative aspects that are needed to be managed such as irregular migration.
Ms Lopez-Ekra said the campaign was to enable the youth have a say on how they feel, how the whole migration debate should be, the progress, why they are leaving, how they could be engaged and helped.
She said the winners have been rewarded but the conversation needs to continue to ensure that as more migrants are brought back from Libya and reintegrated into the country, there is still the need to prevent more people from leaving, hence the need to engage the youth.
Mr Emmanuel Ametepey, the Convenor Youth Advocated Ghana, commended the IOM UN Migration and Government for their commitment in ensuring that the issue of irregular migration is dealt with.
He said unemployment, poverty, hardships and the quest to improve living standards are the main reasons for migration in the country.
Mr Ametepey said migration in itself is not bad as it has helped some people acquire new skills, knowledge and they have returned with expertise in the field of medicine, law, education, health among others.
He urged the youth not to participate in illegal migration as there are numerous opportunities in the country they can tap into to enable them contribute to the development of the country.
Mr Ametepey called on government, Civil Society Organisations and our development partners to commit themselves to community sensitisation and awareness raising activities to educate the public, on migration issues affecting the country.
He said government must also create an enabling environment to drive youth innovation, entrepreneurship and active participation of the youth in the development of the society.
Mr Mumuni Suleman, the Director of Operations National Youth Authority, urged the youth to research their intensions and activities as this would enable you to build good foundations that would help them take advantage of prevailing opportunities.
He said young people are dynamic and could introduce innovative ideas when they stay in the country rather than migrate through dangerous avenues that could lead to their death.
“Ghana is a better place to be and it now behooves on the youth to brighten the corner where they are just as their forbearers did, to be successful,” Mr Suleman said.