27 year old Enoch Yeboah traveled from Ghana to Libya in 2013 hoping to cross over to Europe for greener pasture. His dream prior to traveling became a mirage when things went bad on this journey to Libya.
He told Africa Feeds that he “Took a bus from Techiman, to Niamey, that’s the capital of Niger, from there I proceed to agadez, and there I got a middle man who said he would help me, so the man charged me two hundred CFA, so I paid the money and we used the desert to Libya. We were treated like animals, no respect for human rights. We were just like animals to them.”
Enoch who spent 3 years under harsh conditions in Libya was rescued and brought back to Ghana. He regretted making the journey but Enoch’s story is not unique to several others shared across Africa.
In November this year over 100 Ghanaians were rescued from Libya and flown back home after being sold by their slave masters. The story is same for other West African nationals many from Nigeria and The Gambia.
At a forum on in Accra some young Ghanaians raised concerns about the lack of opportunities back home for them.
Eric Opoku Ware once embarked on a dangerous journey across the desert to Libya hoping to get to Europe. He said “There is no campaign, there is no television advert, radio something, I mean to tell people how dangerous it is, when I was going there was no news”
But for another young Ghanaian who resides in Accra, Yunis Sola poor working conditions are forcing people to leave. “And so when you work more and earn less, sometimes you suffocate. You feel like moving because if I work for eight hours and I am forced to work extra without any pay, and I can work for one hour somewhere and get more dollars, that perception will push me to go out there, so gather money and move,” Sola said.
A migration expert, Dr. Joseph Teye said the reasons for people leaving their countries seeking greener pastures abroad are numerous and complex.
“So the root causes are many, the poverty, the misconception, the policy and institutional problems I have mentioned, and also the strict visa regimes of developed countries are among some of the causes. Migration is not bad we see it as something good, but it has to be managed, we have to ensure that we minimize the risks and this calls for a collaboration, experts, governments, agencies as well as NGOs” Teye added.
Officials of the International Organization for Migration, have said that young people departing their countries and wishing to undertake treacherous journeys need vital information to appreciate the truth about these trips, while providing opportunities for them back home.
Ghana’s information minister is Mustapha Hamid. He said the Ghanaian government has a solution for the emerging threats of illegal migration. That solution according to him is industrialization and better education for young people.
Mustapha said “Now our answer since last year and since we came into government has been that let us focus on adding value to what we produce. And then if we are able to develop these resources, add value to them and produce, we would be able to increase households’ incomes, we will be able to give better confidence to parents, parents would be able to put money into the education of their children, children would be better educated and better equipped with the relevant tools to stay in our country.”
For Enoch who is now back home to start afresh, the talking and promising by African governments need to end, he wants that replaced with action.
“The government should just create job opportunities for and just employ the youth to get something doing because if that time I was having something doing I wouldn’t have even traveled. Because I was traveling to go and get money to come and start my own business, so start something doing,” Enoch said.
Source: Africafeeds.com / Isaac Kaledzi