Create more entry routes to improve security, increased revenue — Survey
Survey, conducted by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), has proposed that more approved entry routes, in and out of the country, should be created to minimise cross border crimes.
The report underscored the need for the Ministry of the Interior to facilitate a review of the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573) to create additional approved entry points to reduce the use of unapproved routes by people which, it said, posed threats to the country.
It said there were currently 48 approved routes and that an increase in the number would ultimately help to reduce the surging threats of violent extremism, human trafficking, small arms smuggling, child trafficking, irregular migration and smuggling of goods, including fertiliser.
It would also enable the country to rake in more revenue for development through the payment of taxes.
The Programmes Manager and Team Lead, Local and Urban Governance of CDD-Ghana, Paul Nana Kwabena Aborampah Mensah, presented the findings of the survey at an experience sharing and policy uptake meeting in Accra last Thursday.
It was aimed at enhancing stakeholder collaboration for improved border management to reduce cross-border crimes.
In attendance were representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs), National Security and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), among others.
The report was a collaboration between CDD-Ghana and GIS with funding from the EU and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
Respondents scored border crimes in terms of their rates of occurrence as follows: Smuggling of goods and other products, including fertiliser — 33 per cent; irregular migration — 25 per cent; child trafficking — eight per cent; small arms smuggling — seven per cent, and human trafficking — three per cent.
Mr Mensah said over the years, the nation's territorial borders had been characterised by inadequate personnel; logistics, including firearms for security officers; surging threats of violent extremism; smuggling, and transitional criminal activities, among others.
“We all agree that we are not in normal times. Now we are living with violent extremism, terrorism, and cross border crimes, among others, for which we need to find resilient mechanisms to withstand shocks.
The Director of Programmes and Policy Engagement of CDD-Ghana, Dr Kojo Asante, facilitated the discussions that bordered on issues such as the need to amend the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573) to create additional approved routes, enhancement of capacity of border security officials on laws on human trafficking, smuggling and money laundering, increase sensitisation in border communities and also create holding shelters for rescued victims of child trafficking, among others.
The Project Manager in-charge of strengthening border security in Ghana, Julia Socea, said the meeting marked a significant milestone in the ongoing joint effort to enhance migration management in the country.
She said it also provided a platform for participants to share experiences and also see how best to help shape migration policies for the betterment of the citizenry.