Ghana Refugee Board Members Inaugurated
By Abubakari Seidu Ajarfor |11 JuLY 2017
The Ghana Refugee Board (GRB) was established with the promulgation of the Ghana Refugee Law, 1992 (PNDCL 305 D) and consists of the Board with stakeholder institutional representation.
The GRB works with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to coordinate international protection and the delivery of humanitarian assistance to asylum seekers and refugees in the country. Speaking at the ceremony, the sector Minister said the nature and complexity of the refugee problems has informed the appointment of person’s who have gained in-depth knowledge, experiences and expertise in refugee matters as Board Members.
He noted that Ghana hosts nearly 14,000 refugees from Liberia, Togo, Sudan and Cote D’Ivorie among others who have escaped from ravages of war in their respective countries.
Mr. Dery indicated that some of the issues that requires their immediate attention include some outdated provisions of the Ghana Refugee Law, 1992 which need to be looked at to reflect international best practice, collaborate with the Ministry to get the two UN Conventions relating to stateless persons and statelessness ratified and finally look at the issues of durable solutions for the refugees in Ghana.
According to him, Ghana is a member of the country of nations and for that matter is required to discharge its international obligations and responsibilities in a responsible manner. The members of the new board include Prof. Kenneth Agyemen Attafuah (ESQ) from the Health Insurance Scheme as the Board Chairman, Mrs. Audrey Naana Abayena of Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, Mr. Laud Kwesi Ofori Affrifa Deputy Commissioner of the Ghana Immigration Service, Mr. Gavivina Yao Tamakloe of NADMO, Mr. Clarence Kuwuornu of Ministry of Justice & Attorney General’s Department.
Devine Ayidzou of Ministry of Education, Mr. Anthony Ayensu-Asare of BNI, Mr. Edmund Quartey of UNHCR, Ms. Rosemary Abbey of Ministry of Interior, ACOP Frederick Adu Anim (ESQ) of the Ghana Police Service and Mrs. Frederick Owuani from the Department of Social Welfare are all members of the newly constituted board this year. Speaking on behalf of the new board members, Mrs. Audrey Naana Abayena, Deputy Director, Legal and Consular at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration expressed the acceptance of the team for the mandate given them to serve the Board and the nation at large. She assured the ministry of their full support in ensuring that issues that are facing the board are resolved in a positive manner.
SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE MINSTER AT THE SWEARING IN OF THE MEMBERS OF THE GHANA REFUGEE BOARD ON MONDAY 10TH JULY, 2017 AT THE CONFERENEC ROOM OF THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR AT 2:00 PM PROMPT.
• HON. DEPUTY MINISTER
• CHAIRMAN AND MEMBERS OF THE GHANA REFUGEE BOARD
• CHIEF DIRECTOR
• EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
• MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA
• LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
• ALL OTHER PROTOCOL OBSERVED
Let me first welcome all of you to the Conference Room of the Ministry of the Interior and the swearing in ceremony of members of the Ghana Refugee Board.
I wish to congratulate you on behalf of Mr. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo – Addo for accepting to offer your service to mother Ghana in this capacity. Ghana is a relatively peaceful and safe country in a region of turbulence, and as a result attracts more persons in distress and seeking refuge in Sub- Region.
Ghana, therefore hosts nearly Fourteen Thousand (14,000) refugees from Liberia, Togo, Sudan and Cote D’Ivoire, among others who have escape from ravages of war in their respective countries. Ladies and Gentlemen the refugees in Ghana are mostly hosted in Refugee settlements whilst a good number live in urban areas in Ghana. These are: Krisan and Ampain in the Western Region; Budumburam in the Central Region and; Fetentaa in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Refugee matters have been very complex in recent years. There is therefore the need to tackle the root cause of the refugee problems are to move away from it and its attendant and problems. There is this growing menace. Respect for human rights, good governance and the rule of law on the continent will help deal with some of the problems we face today. I must say that the nature and complexity of the refugee problems has informed your appointments as members of this Board. Your in-depth knowledge, experiences and expertise in refugee matters is noteworthy and heart-warming.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Ghana has enjoyed the assistance and support of the UNHCR which has offered technical and financial support to enable the Ghana Refugee Board, and for that matter, Ghana to meet its international obligations.
Mr. Chairman, it is important for 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.Ladies and Gentlemen the Board should consider these matters in the context of socio-economic perspectives and in the wider national interest.
Ghana is member of the comity of nations and for that matter is required to discharge its international obligations and responsibilities in a responsible manner. I am confident that you will rise to the occasion by giving deep thoughts to these issues and offer the best advice to the Ministry as to the way forward. Mr. Chairman, once again congratulate for accepting to serve mother Ghana on the Ghana Refugee Board and wish you a most successful tenure.
God bless us all.