Tamale, May 18, GNA - Discussants on a street debate on tackling rural-urban migration have bemoaned the lack of opportunities and social amenities at rural communities across the country saying, the situation compel rural dwellers to move to urban centres to find jobs.
They urged government to find a sustainable way of creating opportunities in rural areas as well as developing rural infrastructure to entice the people to stay home instead of migrating to urban centres leading to congestion and its related social vices and environmental challenges.
The about 10 discussants amongst other participants, drawn from civil society organisations, academia and public institutions, made the argument when contributing to a street debate in Tamale on the topic: “How can Africa tackle rural-urban migration”.
It was organised by DW, the German Broadcaster, as part of its new multimedia project dubbed: "The 77 Percent," which provided a platform for Africans on the African Continent to make their voices heard.
Statistics shows that 77% of Africans are younger than 35 years; hence, this initiative by the DW for the 77% to make their voices heard as far as shaping the future of the African Continent was concerned.
Some of the discussants said they tried to stay in their communities by starting petty trading and other artisanal jobs but nobody was patronizing their services, and that situation forced them to relocate to urban centres.
Mr Clement Boateng, Communications and Media Officer of Ghana Developing Communities Association, who was amongst the discussants, suggested that government should encourage active citizen participation in governance at both local and national levels.
Mr Boateng said this would ensure that resources were equitably distributed across the country to entice citizens to stay in their communities thereby, helping to tackle rural-urban migration.
Assistant Commissioner of Immigration (ACI), Mr Edward Owusu, Northern Regional Commander of the Ghana Immigration Service, said government’s policy of siting a factory in every district of the country would help create opportunities across the country to ensure that people worked in their districts to help tackle rural-urban migration.
ACI Owusu advised migrants in urban areas, who accumulated enough resources, to go back and invest such resources in their various communities to develop them and open up opportunities for people in those areas, which would encourage them to remain in those places.