The Ghana Independent Broadcasters’ Association (GIBA) in collaboration with UNESCO has held a day’s training session with editors of various media firms on migration in Accra.
The training was to educate and train participants on the challenges of irregular migration that has engulfed Africa, under the “Fondo Africa” three-year project, sponsored by the Italian Government.
The event was on the theme: “Empowering young people in Africa through media and communication”.
A Deputy Minister for Information, Pius Enam Hadzide, explained that capacity building of senior journalists on migration related activities, experience shared, and mapping out the way forward for effective reporting is relevant to the government’s agenda on “Ghana Beyond Aid”.
He indicated that there is a responsibility in the hands of government to create the conditions that would ensure that such migrants see opportunities in their own countries.
“I don’t think anybody will cross the Sahara and go through these rickety boats in the Mediterranean just because they want to. They feel a certain compulsion to do so because at home, the opportunities that they’re looking for are not there- the statistics on Ghanaians intending and actually attempting to migrate is rather worrying,” he said.
Hadzide argued that there is the need to hold discussion platforms on irregular migration and as well highlight the solutions by pointing to opportunities such as the free SHS, ‘Planting for food and jobs’ under the ‘One District One Factory’ and the job centre of the ‘Youth Employment Authority’.
“This is important because too much negativity and pessimism has the tendency to drive the youth away even from the opportunities that are being created,” he stated.
The Deputy Minister expressed displeasure at the anti-migrant and xenophobic messages on social media that has led to marginalization, discrimination and rising violence against migrants, adding that, the government must curb the situation by actively engaging in social media platforms to introduce meaningful policies and programmes to enhance citizens understanding.
Additionally, the Italian Ambassador to Ghana, Giovanni Favilli, indicated that the project is to help the media better understand the situation of migration to ensure they are accurately informed o they could educate their audience concerning the issue.
He again called on the media to focus and balance their freedom with their responsibility and feed the public the right information. He said this because, according to him, most reports in the media about migration was often inaccurate and does not reflect the reality, stating that they should avoid fake news.
He said research shows that about 70 percent of Ghanaians need the chance to migrate whilst 42 percent have the intention to migrate in the next five years as some even disguise themselves to seek asylum.
The Vice President of GIBA, Ernest Boateng, lauded such project which would have editors trained in some regions like Kumasi, Tamale and Takoradi to improve quality and professional standards on migration reporting.
The facilitator and former President of GIBA, Professor Kwame Karikari urged the media to champion and highlight regular migration, costs of rescue and relevant issues to the public to discourage interested parties from embarking on such deadly voyage.
Fondo Africa is an institution seeking to support and revive the cooperation between Italian Government and African countries and fight irregular immigration and human trafficking through campaigns on migration risks.
Source: Eric Nii Sackey || email@example.com