About 4,092 Ghanaian irregular migrants returned from Libya in 2017, figures from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) have shown.
Per the figures, most of the returnees who used inappropriate routes on the Sahara Desert to Libya with the intention of crossing the Mediterranean to Europe were from the Brong Ahafo Region, Chief Superintendent James Hayford Boadi who is the Regional Head of the Immigration Information Centre of the GIS said.
Speaking at the opening session of a returnees’ needs assessment workshop in Sunyani, he said irregular migration was becoming a national challenge which needed concerted efforts to tackle.
The Ghana Centre for Jobs, Migration and Re-integration (MIAC) of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations organised the two-day workshop attended by about 85 returnees.
Research shows most often, Ghanaians voluntary returnees arrived without significant awareness of the changing dynamics in the country after years and sometimes decades of absence.
It showed that the alienation experienced in the country had a direct effect on the ease of reintegration.
Currently, about 800,000 Ghanaians live and work outside their home country.
The workshop was however aimed at providing information on opportunities in the Ghanaian labour market and skilled vocational training for the interested returnees to get employment, become self-reliant and stay comfortable in Ghana.
Chief Superintendent Boadi noted that since the migrants entered Europe irregularly, most of them only had the option of applying for asylum with little prospect of success while others lived precariously.
More than 3,233 irregular African migrants died in 2017, whilst 1,549 migrants’ deaths were recorded between January and August this year, mostly on the Mediterranean.
Director of Diasporan Affairs at the office of the President, Kwasi Awuah Ababio, said numerous economic opportunities were available in the country and advised the youth to stay home and take advantage of that to build their future.
He urged the youth who were determined to travel abroad to choose the regular labour migration routes in order to avoid being stranded.