GNA – Mr William Hanna, the European Union Ambassador to Ghana, has said 5,636 Ghanaians arrived in Italy by boat in 2016.
This figure was 27 per cent higher than that of 2015.
Mr Hanna, who announced this at a handing over ceremony of equipment by the International Organisation of Migration to the Ghana Immigration Service, in Accra, pointed out that these figures, however, did not account for the number of Ghanaians who arrived in Italy, claiming to be from other countries.
“More sadly, these figures do not account for the number of young Ghanaians, Ghanaian women and men who have died between the Northern border of Ghana and the Southern border of Europe,” he stated.
Mr Hanna emphasised that the top priority of the European Union was to save the lives of migrants.
He explained that mobility could benefit both Europe and Africa; but it must happen legally and safely, and by not turning the Mediterranean and the Sahara into mass graves.
“This is the core message since the Valletta Summit, and the basis of our partnership with Africa and with Ghana,” he said.
He said the European was in discussion with colleagues from the Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs and with all stakeholders in Ghana to see how more could be done to help solve the problem of illegal migration.
Meanwhile, the equipment, valued at GH?2.3 million include two four-wheel drive double Cabin Nissan Pick-Ups, with their accessories, computers, motorbikes, Anti-Virus-Kaspersky 2016, Flashlights, Swivel Chairs, Projectors and Statistical Analysis Software (Analytic Pro).
They would be deployed to the Migration Information Bureau Unit, Border Patrol Unit and the Management Information Unit of the GIS.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), with funding from the European Union made the donation possible to enhance the GIS’ capacity to effectively manage Ghana’s borders.