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SOD CUT FOR MIGRATION CONSULTATION CENTRE IN SUNYANI

Sod has been cut for the construction offices for the Migration Consultation Centre,(MCC) run by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Sunyani, the Bono-Ahafo Regional Capital.  Speaking at the Ceremony, the Project Manager of the Ghana Integrated Immigration Management Approach (GIMMA) Project, Kazumi Nakamura, expressed the hope that the centre when completed would help reduce the phenomenon of irregular migration which people from Bono-Ahafo dominate in Ghana.  She revealed that between January and April this year 471Ghanaians, including 32 unaccompanied minors have been rescued from boats in the Mediterranean Sea by Italian Authorities, signaling that the problem of irregular migration is still something to worry about. The MCC was established in 2009 under the European Union funded GIMMA Project,  which basically seeks to among other things enhance the operational capacities of the GIS to implement effective migration management measures, increase the awareness of potential migrants on safe and legal migration as well as alternative livelihood options. Bono-Ahafo was chosen to host the Centre due its unenviable reputation of having the highest rate of irregular migration in the Country.  Present at the ceremony were representatives of the RCC, the Sunyani Traditional Council, as well as officials of the GIS and the IOM.  Addressing the gathering, Project Manager of GIMMA, Kazumi Nakamura said it had been a long standing recommendation that the MCC be relocated away from the GIS Offices in a Government Compound like the Ministries to attract more patronage from potential migrants.  She said this is very necessary due to what is happening in the Mediterranean Sea in Europe where nearly 5,800 Migrants have died between last year and April this year in a bid to use illegal means to migrate to Europe.  The Director of the GIS, Commissioner of Police (COP) Dr. Peter Wiredu, for his part mentioned Nkoranza and Atebubu-Amanten Areas in Bono-Ahafo which have become noted for irregular migration and urged the youth especially to take advantage of the MCC to get sensitized on the legal means of migrating.  The Deputy Bono-Ahafo Regional Minister, Samuel Justice Agyei, noted that Bono-Ahafo is lucky to have the Centre on its soil and prayed it would help reduce the incidence of irregular migration in the Region and the Nation as a whole.  The MCC building construction, which is funded by the E.U. is expected to cost almost 188 thousand Ghana Cedis and is expected to be completed within five months.   The new MCC building when completed is expected to offer a neutral space for potential and actual migrants to obtain accurate information on legal migration procedures, required documentation, procedure for obtaining legal travel documents and information on destination countries.

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