Migration: JIFORM, Stakeholders urge African governments to reset economy

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By Ibironke Ariyo
The Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) and other stakeholders have urged Africa governments to reset the economy to revive and regenerate local potentials needed to attract investments to reap migration benefits.

The JIFORM President, Mr Ajibola Abayomi, said this at the African Migration Summit organised by JIFORM and Nekotech Centre of Excellence on Thursday in Accra, Ghana.

Abayomi said that the summit was put together to chart a new course for migration policies in Africa to champion the interest of African migrants abroad.

This, he said, was also to encourage leaders on the continent to evolve empowerment policies to check irregular migration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the summit is “Labour Migration: Shifting the Paradigm to benefit Africa”.

This is to ensure that Africa protects the economic interest of millions of Africans toiling night and day overseas and that there toil is not in vain.

Abayomi said that without a conscious attempt to develop more brains on the continent and the best hands were frustrated to migrate abroad, there may not be meaningful benefits derivable from the foreign investments.

According to him, we need people to retain the technical skills from the various foreign investments to create more opportunities in our economy.

“To reap migration benefits, therefore leaders in Africa must reset the economy to resuscitate local potentials needed to attract investments.

“Africa must embrace regulated migration to redirect the energies of her youths being misled into human trafficking, child labour and other deadly works.

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“As population of migrants increase globally, Africa must re-organise its principles to reap from benefits associated with regular migration,” he said.

Abayomi noted that although Africa was not the continent with the highest irregular migrants, time has come for leaders to take more responsibilities to address the push factors forcing Africans to seek better life elsewhere.

Also speaking, African Union Migration Advisory Committee Member, Ghana, Dr Princess Ocansey, said that African Governments should greatly increase the level of developmental initiative.

Ocansey, who doubled as the Executive Director, Nekotech Centre of Excellence, added that this would keep the young people from venturing in such difficult journeys.

She urged the African government to also look carefully into the policies signed with Middle East countries especially where the KAFALA system was practice.

KAFALA system is used to monitor migrant labourers, working primarily in the construction and domestic sectors in Gulf Cooperation Council member states and a few neighbouring countries.

The countries include Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Prof. Patrick Lumumba, a foremost African activist from Kenya, said that the level of corruption in Africa drove young people into leaving their counties to seek greener pastures thereby driving them into taking drastic decisions.

Lumumba said that time had come for Africans to come together and fight this menace eating deeply into the veins of the young ones.

“I urge you all therefore, today, Africa must change, let the African governments create an enabling environment where young men, women, girls can live to become better citizens.

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“We should also prepare our citizens in training them so that we would have them remain here and not think of going out,” he said.

Ismail Abdulaziz

Deputy Editor in Chief,
Multimedia, Solutions Journalism & Website

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