Ghana as a country is currently hosting about Fourteen Thousand (14,000) refugees from Liberia, Togo, Sudan and Cote D’Ivorie.

Amongst others, are those who escaped from ravages of war in their respective countries. More so, the refugees in Ghana are mostly hosted in Refugees settlements whilst a good number live in urban areas in Ghana.

These are: Krisan and Ampain in the Western Region; Bujumbura in the central Region and; Fetentaa in the Brong-Ahafo Region. The Minister for Interior, Hon. Ambrose Dery, made this known during the swearing in of Members of Ghana Refugees Board in Accra.

According to him, Ghana is a relatively peaceful and safe country in a region of turbulence; this as a result attracts more persons in distress and seeking refuge in the Sub-Region.

Refugee matters have become very complex in recent years. There is therefore the need to tackle the root causes of the refuges problems in the sub-region in particular and the continent as a whole if we are to move away from it and its attendant and problems.

There is the need for urgent collaboration among state parties to help stem this growing menace. Respect for human rights, good governance and rule of law on the continent will help deal with some of these problems we are facing today,” he emphasized.

This he said, the nature of and the complexity of the refugee problems has informed the appointment of the board members. “Your in-depth knowledge, experience and expertise in refugee matters are extremely noteworthy and heartwarming,” he added.

According to the Sector Minister, Ghana has enjoyed the assistance and the support of the UNHCR which has offered technical and financial support to enable the Refugee Board, in order to enable Ghana to meet its international obligations.

“It is important me to draw your attention to some issues which would require your immediate attention.

  • Some of the provisions of the Ghana Refugee Law, 1992 are outdated and need to be looked at to reflect international best practices.
  • Ghana is yet to ratify the two UN Conventions relating to Stateless Persons and Statelessness.
  • I expect the Board, in collaboration with the Ministry to get these Conventions ratified. Indeed, out of the 15-member ECOWAS States, only two (2) states including Ghana are yet to ratify these Conventions.
  • If the Conventions are ratified, the Board would also be expected to assume the new mandate and responsibility of seeking and finding measures for preventing statelessness as recognized by the 1954 and 1961 UN Conventions.
  • The Board will further need to look at the issues of durable solutions for the Refugees in Ghana,” he cited.

The Board members includes: Prof. Kenneth Agyemen Attafuah (ESQ) as the Chairman, Mrs. Audrey Naana Abayena, Mr.Laud Kwesi Ofori Affrifa, Mr. Gavivina Yao Tamakloe, Mr. Clarence Kuwuornu and Mr. Divine Ayidzou.

The rest are: Mr. Anthony Ayensu-Asare, Mr. Edmund Quartey, Ms. Rosemary Abbey, ACOP Frederick Adu Anim (ESQ) and Mrs. Frederica Owuani.

By: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/