When the Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Salvini, called on him at the Presidency on Monday, President Akufo-Addo did not mince words when he criticised the inhumane and abusive treatment of African migrants in Europe.
He said although the Europeans had every reason to fight against illegal migration, their treatment of migrants, especially illegal migrants, were against the rights and dignity of the offenders.
President Akufo-Addo said it was unacceptable for people to be treated in that manner, simply because they were illegal immigrants.
In the 19th Century, he said Europeans, including Italians, fled to the United States in their numbers due to poverty because their countries, in those days, were not considered as countries of opportunities.
“The phenomenon of migration in Africa is no different from the phenomenon of migration in their history. So the connection between migration and poverty is direct.
“Everybody will prefer to stay where they were born and grow up; it is only when you don’t find opportunities there that you think of moving,” he said, and indicated that there was nothing unusual about the concept of migration.
“When you hear some of the stories of how some of them are treated, you wonder whether, really, our relations with Western Europe should be on the level at which it is,” he said, and pointed that people should not hide behind the pretext of fighting illegal migration to abuse illegal migrants,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo noted that the right of every human being must, at all time, be respected and urged the European governments to highlight the abuses and inhumane treatments of migrants in their discourse.
The President said his administration was working to address migration from the country by providing opportunities for the youth through its Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
The Deputy Prime Minister led a team of Italians to announce a programme funded by ENI Ghana, aimed at providing vocational and technical skills training for Ghanaians.