A Seat Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) was signed on the 25 August 2021 in the premises of the Embassy of Ghana in Vienna, Austria.
This Agreement marks an intensification of the collaboration started in 2014 on migration management between ICMPD and the Government of Ghana. The seat agreement negotiation, which started in 2018, saw both parties through a very rigorous process that provided deeper insights on the potential benefits for cooperation between both entities.
In Ghana, ICMPD has been providing technical assistance to the government, in particular supporting the operational capacity of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) on its mandate of securing the country’s border and improving migration management. In the last years the ICMPD has applied it’s “three-pillar approach” centered on research, capacity building and migration dialogue in providing support to government agencies in different thematic areas such as border management, trafficking in human beings, labor migration, return and reintegration, migration and development. Specifically, ICMPD worked closely with the GIS to develop it’s 2018–2022 Strategic Plan, in addition to a number of other actions strengthening the operations of the Immigration Service (ECOWAS border management standards, document fraud, emergency response, etc.). Since 2014 ICMPD has also maintained an open dialogue with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora Office under the Presidency with a program focused on strengthening the capacities of consular staff to improve assistance to Ghanaians abroad and supporting the development of a Diaspora Engagement Policy. Ghana is also an active member of the Euro-African Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process) implemented by ICMPD.
The signature of the Seat Agreement will bring new opportunities of collaboration for a better migration management and a stronger relationship between Ghana and the ICMPD member states.
Currently ICMPD is responsible for these projects in Ghana:
• SMMIG-1 Project: A 3 year (2018 – 2021) project which aims to strengthen the capacity of the GIS to combat irregular migration. This involves comprehensive support (capacity building , training and equipment provision) to the Document Fraud Expertise Centre (DFEC) of the Ghana Immigration Service in the area of document fraud detection, funded by the Danish Embassy.
• SMMIG-2 Project: A 3 year project (2021 – 2024) also funded by the Government of Denmark, designed to support the Government of Ghana to increase its institutional and operational capacity in combatting irregular migration, migration management and cyber security.
• SBS Project: A 4 year project (2019-2023); specific object is: a) to enhance the capability of Ghana border control authorities, b) to update border management information systems and c) to ensure security while guaranteeing the respect for the rule of law and human rights. Component 1: capacity building, purchase of equipment and upgrade of the info-exchange system of the GIS; Component 2: grants for civil society organisations and universities for innovative projects on mobility and border management. SBS is funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.
• Euro-Africa Dialogue on Migration and Development (Rabat Process): Ghana is an active member of the dialogue, with representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and the Ministry of the Interior participating providing expertise for the strategic frameworks under the Dialogue.