Two women wearing T-shirts promoting good parenting and the prevention of child trafficking © IOM 2015 (Photo: Julia Liebisch)


The inclusion of migration in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development illustrates the importance of the nexus between migration and development, and of planned and well-managed migration policies.

The Government of Ghana (GoG) has developed a National Policy on Migration (adopted in 2016) and its implementation plan with the support from the IOM Development Fund (IDF). For the first time in the history of Ghana, the Government has formulated a comprehensive policy to guide the management of its internal, intra-regional and international migration flows.

The aim of the policy is to promote the benefits and minimise the costs of migration. The policy comprehensively addresses key migration issues in Ghana including: irregular migration, human trafficking, migrants smuggling, labour migration, brain drain and gain, diaspora engagement, dual citizenship, remittances, return, re-admission, and reintegration of Ghanaian migrants, border management, refugee issues and many more. It also covers the important linkages between migration and climate change, health, trade, tourism, education and gender.

In addition to setting the strategy to address the complex and mixed migration challenges faced by Ghana, the policy prioritises important enablers such as the collection and dissemination of migration data, the establishment of a coherent institutional framework, and resource mobilisation for implementation. 

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) supported the assessment of organisational capacity of stakeholders in migration data management in Ghana. Based on the assessment findings, IOM provided support to the development of the National Migration Data Management Framework, which aims at enhancing efficient migration data management, including processing, sharing and dissemination across Ministries, Departments and Agencies in Ghana for better policy planning. 

According to the Global Migration Flows interactive map that tracks migration flows around the world, 399,741 cases of inward migration were reported in 2015, while 801,644 outward cases of migration were reported in that same year (for more statistics on inward and outward migration visit IOM Ghana website).

IOM has provided continuous support to the Government to maximise the positive relationship between migration and development programmes by seeking to harness the development potential of migration for the benefit of both local societies and migrants.

Capitalising on the nexus between migration and development, IOM developed a Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals (TRQN) project to help fill skill and knowledge gaps by providing temporary return assignments to qualified nationals. The project focusses on capacity-building in sectors and areas identified by the country. The TRQN participants bring in new knowledge, ideas and technologies - adding value as catalysts for long-term change. Thus, diaspora engagement can help with effective capacity building of local organisations. The TRQN project also offers internships and training opportunities for selected staff of host institutions and Government officials. The project benefited from 50 temporary return engagements at various institutions (health, education and agriculture sectors) in nine Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in 2015, and resulted in significant contributions to sustainable development and poverty reduction.

In the Sustainable Development Goals, migration is anchored in Goal 10 which aims to reduce inequality within and among countries. SDG target 10.7 is the centrepiece for migration in the 2030 Agenda. It calls for “well-managed migration policies”, and hence encompasses all aspects of migration.