The second phase of the Strengthening Border and Migration Management in Ghana (SMMIG) project, to support institutions to manage irregular migration flows has been launched in Accra.
This followed the successful implementation of the first phase of the project by the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), with funding from the government of Denmark from December 2018 to November 2021.
The second phase, which commenced in August last year and would last until July 2024, at a cost of DKK17.9 million, would contribute to the implementation of component one to six of the Ghana Immigration Service 2018-2022 strategic plan.
It would encompass the areas of document verification, prosecution, intelligence, investigation, strategic planning, standardisation of GIS procedures, cyber security and interagency cooperation.
Comptroller-General of GIS, Kwame AsuahTakyi, said the project would enhance the capacity of the GIS to combat irregular migration by strengthening the detection and investigation of document fraud at the regional level.
He indicated that the second phase would involve the establishment of a fraud office in the Ashanti regional command, to serve the Ahafo, Ashanti, Bono, Bono East, Western and Northern regions.
Additionally, he noted that the project would strengthen the GIS response to irregular migration, through enhancing the capacity of its legal department to investigate, prosecute and secure convictions on document fraud and other migration related cases.
In line with GIS current mandate, MrTakyi said the project would lead to the development of a new 2023-2027 strategic plan and revision of all SOPs which would strengthen GIS strategic and operational processes.
He added that the second phase of the project would improve the institutional and professional capacities of the GIS in the area of Cybersecurity, through the establishment of a Cybersecurity unit, delivery of basic, advanced and on-the-job capacity building trainings and the provision of equipment.
Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery, in a speech read for him said the government was committed to undertaking initiatives to transform the operations of the GIS,and reposition it to effectively manage migration.
Key among the support, he said, was the provision and expansion of training facilities to ensure instant training of officers on new strategies to curb irregular migration.
He noted of the changing phases of migration challenges and asked the GIS to change it operations to meet the new challenges.
The Minister tasked the GIS to collaborate with other agencies and groups, adding that it was critical for the service in confronting emerging migration challenges.
Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tom Nørring, expressed confidence that the second phase of the project would consolidate the gains made from the phase one to resolving complex migration challenges.
He said there was the need to address increasing cross-border movement efficiently and effectively to facilitate safe and orderly migration.