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Ghanaian Immigration Officers Undertake Study Tour to Tunisia and Italy

By International Office of Migration (IOM)

IOM has facilitated a study visit of eight officials from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) to Tunisia and Italy. The objective of the week-long visit was to allow the officials to observe developments in Italy, study best practices in Tunisia, and gather information and exchange experiences with counterparts.

The study tour began in Tunisia with a visit to IOM's Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) in Tunis. The visit gave the officials an opportunity to learn from the set up and functioning of the Centre, as well as the partnerships the Centre had established with key institutions in Tunisia to provide support to migrants.

The good practices acquired during the time in Tunisia will be replicated in Ghana for the effective running of a Migrant Information Centre (MIC) constructed by IOM in cooperation with GIS, with funding from the European Union.

The delegation also visited the Office of Tunisians Abroad (OTE), National Youth Observatory (NYO), Centre of Law and Migration, and the Delegate for Child Protection (An Observatory for Child Rights.)

According to Assistant Director of Immigration Laud Ofori Affrifah: “The visit to OTE and the MRC were very eye opening and a lot of things will be replicated in Ghana, such as the arrangement of the offices of the MRC, the collaboration with other agencies and information materials developed for the Centre.”

The tour continued in Catania, Italy, with visits to Pozallo and Augusta landing sites, which allowed the participants to observe first-hand the reality of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

Officers will now be better placed to provide accurate information to potential migrants who visit the MIC in Ghana. The circuit made a strong impression on the officers and provided new ideas for the development of innovative safe migration campaigns. The delegation also vowed to continue to work closely with the Italian police.

The study tour is part of the three year (2014 — 2017) Ghana Integrated Migration Management Approach (GIMMA) project jointly implemented by IOM and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), funded under the 10th European Development Fund of the European Union.

The overall objective is to contribute to the Government of Ghana's efforts to manage migration effectively through the establishment of an integrated migration management approach. The GIMMA project is helping to build GIS' operational capacity to protect the country's borders; empower migrants to make informed migratory decisions; and improve the country's migration data management capacity.