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12.02.2021 Minister Müller zum Tag gegen Kindersoldaten: "Kinder brauchen Schulen, keine Gewehre!“

BMZ - February 12, 2021 - 8:00am
Zum Internationalen Tag gegen den Einsatz von Kindersoldaten am 12. Februar 2021, dem Red Hand Day, erklärte Bundesentwicklungsminister Gerd Müller: "Kindersoldaten sind Opfer, keine Täter. Sie brauchen einen Ausweg, Schutz, Schulen und keine Gewehre! Bis zu 250.000 Kinder werden nach Schätzungen der UN von bewaffneten Gruppen als Kindersoldaten zu Gewalttaten gezwungen. Viele von ihnen werden auch sexuell missbraucht. Diese Kinder leiden unter der verbrecherischsten Form von ...
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A Restrained Embrace

SWP - February 12, 2021 - 12:10am

While the adoption of the Policy Guidelines for the Indo-Pacific (PGIP or Guidelines) by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany in September 2020 has raised significant interest among observers, much more attention needs to be paid to the role and response of the designated “core partners” in the region. The example of South Korea is especially important in this regard. On the one hand, there is much yet untapped potential to increase cooperation, given the overlaps in Berlin’s and Seoul’s Indo-Pacific strategies. On the other hand, South Korea’s restrained reaction to the Guide­lines both reflects the geopolitical dilemma within which some regional partners are operating and foreshadows potential implementation challenges.

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Turkey’s Ruling Alliance Facing Protests: On the Attack or the Defensive?

SWP - February 12, 2021 - 12:00am

Student unrest has gripped Istanbul’s prestigious and politically liberal Boğaziçi University since January 4. The protests were initially provoked by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision to appoint a member of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) as rector. The government has responded harshly, detaining students, raiding homes, criminalising protestors and their supporters as »terrorists«, and vilifying the university and its students as deviants from the »nation’s true values«. Condemnation was not limited to the government: On 7 February organised crime boss Alaattin Çakıcı, a former member of the ultranationalist Grey Wolves, tweeted a hand-written note stating the protests aimed to »harm the state and the People’s Alliance [AKP/MHP], which is the guarantor of our state«.

Attempts to penetrate the civil sphere

This episode of interference in the university’s administration is not an isolated incident. Under the state of emergency decree of October 2016 all rectors at public universities are now selected directly or indirectly by the president’s office, in conjunction with the Turkish Higher Education Council. The extensive purges that followed the 2016 coup attempt have created opportunities for the president to distribute academic posts to his supporters. He also regards the universities as central pillars of the »nation’s cultural hegemony«.

The attack goes beyond the universities, however. Ankara is determined to suppress opposition. About 90 percent of media outlets are linked to the AKP through personal and/or financial ties. Prosecutions of social media users for insulting the president are common. A new law of 2020 permits multiple bar associations, aiming to create an institutional wedge between pro-government and opposition lawyers. Ankara has also expanded its oversight over civil society organisations, and worked to rein in local governments by replacing elected mayors in Kurdish municipalities with government-appointed trustees and cutting funding for opposition-held councils. It also works to contain civil society through prosecutions, police violence, propaganda, and recently even open support from mafia figures. The aim is to create a political community of supporters operating as agents of regime control.

Ramping up repression

In reality, the AKP is far from achieving cultural hegemony, as Erdoğan himself admitted in 2020. In fact, popular discontent is growing. The pandemic has exacerbated Turkey’s already mounting economic woes and limited the AKP’s ability to redistribute resources to its supporters. Big business is complaining, while many small and micro-business are in debt. The official figure for youth unemployment reached 25.4 percent in November 2020. Even AKP supporters are not immune to discontent over the rising cost of living.

The unexpected success of opposition parties in the 2019 local elections and their united front against the presidential system further complicate the picture. The government’s divide-and-rule tactics have so far failed to bring opposition actors fully into line. Moreover, tensions and cracks within the ruling alliance are increasingly visible.

For all these reasons, Ankara is on the attack and the defensive at the same time. That is behind its disproportionate reaction to the Boğaziçi protests. It is no coincidence that government officials and pro-government journalists have consistently compared them to the Gezi protests of 2013 – to which the AKP responded with similar criminalisation, vilification and repression.

The ghost of the Gezi protests continues to haunt Ankara. One stark manifestation of this is the Kafkaesque trial of Osman Kavala, a Turkish businessman and a human rights defender who was detained in 2017. The charges included »attempting to change the constitutional order and to overthrow the government« by leading and financing the Gezi protests. A second wave of arrests followed in 2018 for alleged links to Kavala. While the Gezi defendants were acquitted in February 2020, an appeals court overturned the acquittals of nine in January 2021. On 5 February, the court rejected a request for Kavala’s release and merged the cases against him. On the same day Erdoğan accused Ayse Bugra, a retired faculty member of Boğaziçi University who happens to be married to Osman Kavala, of being »among the provocateurs« of the Boğaziçi protests.

Europe should not turn a blind eye

Europe should voice stronger criticism of Ankara’s repression of its citizens. While first and foremost a matter of principle, calling Ankara out is also in the EU’s own interests. While European policy-makers have often enough prioritised stability over democracy in relations with authoritarian states, that logic is associated with two problems in the case of Turkey. For one thing, it is unclear whether an authoritarian but stable Turkey would cooperate harmoniously with the EU.

Even more importantly, the stability of authoritarianism in Turkey is uncertain for several reasons. Firstly, Turkey’s economic capacity depends heavily on popular consent, in particular because the country lacks the kind of natural resources that can be exploited through coercion. Secondly, the country’s sociopolitical diversity makes it difficult for the AKP to thoroughly penetrate the civil sphere; future protests are highly likely. Finally, the personalisation of power and the tensions within the ruling alliance make the government vulnerable. While the EU certainly cannot force Turkey into democratic reforms, it can and should hold Turkey more accountable – especially at a time when Ankara is turning to the EU for economic support.

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Endlich: Durchbruch beim Lieferkettengesetz

SPD - February 12, 2021 - 12:00am
Die Bundesregierung hat sich auf ein Lieferkettengesetz verständigt, es soll noch in dieser Legislaturperiode beschlossen werden. Die SPD-Fraktion im Bundestag wertet das Gesetz als historischen Meilenstein im Kampf gegen Ausbeutung, sagen Sascha Raabe, Frank Schwabe und Bernd Rützel.
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Eltville am Rhein erhält das Siegel „Kinderfreundliche Kommune“

Unicef - February 11, 2021 - 5:00pm
Die Stadt Eltville am Rhein erhält heute das Siegel „Kinderfreundliche Kommune“. Damit würdigt der Verein Kinderfreundliche Kommunen e.V. die Verabschiedung eines Aktionsplans, der die kommunale Umsetzung der UN-Kinderrechtskonvention zum Ziel hat. 
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Fern der Heimat, fern vom Ziel: Geflüchtete und migrierte Kinder in Bosnien und Herzegowina

Unicef - February 11, 2021 - 5:00pm
Wie geht es geflüchteten und migrierten Kindern in Bosnien und Herzegowina und vor welchen Herausforderungen stehen unbegleitete Kinder? Wir haben mit UNICEF-Kinderschutzexpertin Antonia Lüdeke gesprochen. 
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04.03.2021 | Gespräche zur Internationalen Zusammenarbeit

GIZ Event - February 11, 2021 - 3:42pm
Veranstaltungsdatum: Donnerstag, 4. März 2021
Web Talk aus der Reihe „Gespräche zur Internationalen Zusammenarbeit“ zum Thema: Leadership in Fragile Contexts – The Role of Women in Peacebuilding
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11. Februar 2021

ONE - February 11, 2021 - 11:52am
1. Deutschland investiert in globale Corona-Bekämpfung

Wie Tagesspiegel Background und RP Online melden, stockt die die Bundesregierung die Mittel für die weltweite Bekämpfung der Corona-Pandemie deutlich auf. Gestern hat der Bundestag der Vorlage der Bundesregierung zugestimmt, zusätzlich 1,5 Milliarden Euro für den sogenannten ACT-Accelerator (ACT-A) bereitzustellen. Der ACT-A bündelt die internationalen Bemühungen im Kampf gegen die Corona-Pandemie. Ein wichtiger Bestandteil davon ist die Beschaffung und Verteilung von Corona-Impfstoffen in Ländern, die von extremer Armut betroffen sind. Das zusätzliche Geld solle laut stellvertretender Regierungssprecherin Ulrike Demmer Teil eines internationalen Finanzierungspakets sein und insbesondere für die Beschaffung von Impfstoffen verwendet werden. Außerdem plane das Gesundheitsministerium den Kauf von rund 635 Millionen Impfstoffdosen. Übrig gebliebene Impfdosen sollen an die internationale Impfstoff-Initiative COVAX, wichtiger Bestandteil des ACT-A, gespendet werden. 

2. Wasserstoff – die Zukunft der Energieproduktion in Afrika?

Die Süddeutsche Zeitung und die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung thematisieren heute den Energiesektor Afrikas. Eine neue Untersuchung der britischen Klimaschutzorganisation Carbon Tracker zeige, dass der Ausstieg aus der Nutzung fossiler Energieträger für Förderländer, vor allem für ärmere und von der Klimakrise besonders betroffene Staaten, drastische Folgen habe. Ländern wie Nigeria und Angola würden in den nächsten 20 Jahren insgesamt mehrere Billionen Dollar an Staatseinnahmen wegbrechen. Dieser Einbruch könne wirtschaftliche und soziale Krisen auslösen und ganze Regionen destabilisieren, so die Macher des Reports. Günter Nooke, Afrikabeauftragter der Bundeskanzlerin setze daher auf die Produktion von grünem Wasserstoff auf dem afrikanischen Kontinent. Länder wie Kongo haben beste Voraussetzungen für die Produktion. Außerdem sei es wichtig Afrika stärker in die internationale Wertschöpfungskette einzubinden, so Nooke. 

3. Der ewige Streit um den Nil

In der Süddeutschen Zeitung thematisiert Bernd Dörries heute den Streit um den Nil, der fast ein Jahrzehnt lang zwischen Anrainerstaaten des afrikanischen Flusses herrscht. Es gehe dabei vor allem darum, wie viel Zugang zum Wasser die flussabwärts vom Riesenstaudamm Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) gelegenen Staaten Sudan und Ägypten noch erhalten. Ägyptens Regierung stellte klar, dass sie es nicht dulden werde, solle das Land vom lebensnotwendigen Nilwasser abgeschnitten werden. Der Sudan fordert, der Staudamm solle so gestaltet werden, dass er für alle flussabwärts gelegenen Anrainerstaaten Vorteile bringe. Für den Sudan habe der GERD viele Vorteile, da er das ganze Jahr über eine stabile Wassermenge liefern würde, so Ahmed el-Tayeb, der Direktor des Nationalen Wasserforschungszentrums im Sudan. Trotzdem gebe es in der sudanesischen Regierung noch Bedenken gegenüber dem Projekt.

The post 11. Februar 2021 appeared first on ONE.

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Climate Transformation Summit 2021

RNE Termin - February 11, 2021 - 9:49am
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Ein Roboter als intelligenter Gärtner

reset - February 11, 2021 - 6:15am
Er heißt Phoenix und hat eine Mission: Obstbäume beschneiden. Noch ist der autonom arbeitende Roboter ein Projekt in Entwicklung– doch seine Aufgabe ist schon jetzt immens: der Schutz eines der artenreichsten Biotope Mitteleuropas.
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Roboter als intelligenter Gärtner

reset - February 11, 2021 - 6:15am
Er heißt Phoenix und hat eine Mission: Obstbäume beschneiden. Noch ist der autonom arbeitende Roboter ein Projekt in Entwicklung– doch seine Aufgabe ist schon jetzt immens: der Schutz eines der artenreichsten Biotope Mitteleuropas.
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UNICEF und WHO: Reiche Länder sollen Covid-19 Impfstoffe teilen

Unicef - February 10, 2021 - 6:15pm
Gemeinsames Statement von UNICEF-Exekutivdirektorin Henrietta Fore und WHO-Generaldirektor Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus zu der weltweiten Verteilung der Corona-Impfstoffe.
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Kindersoldaten weltweit erzählen: "Ich hatte keine Wahl"

Unicef - February 10, 2021 - 3:00pm
Kindersoldaten: Opfer und Täter zugleich, Kinder ohne Kindheit. Unter der Mithilfe von UNICEF können immer wieder Kinder aus den Fängen bewaffneter Milizen befreit und in ihr altes Leben zurückgebracht werden. Hier erzählen ehemalige Kindersoldaten ihre Geschichten.
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Mädchen – forscht!

Engagement Global - February 10, 2021 - 2:31pm
Sandra Kebede von WorldWeWant auf der Zukunftstour 2016. Foto: Barbara Frommann

Der Anteil von Frauen in der Wissenschaft ist gestiegen – liegt aber selbst in einem reichen und bildungsorientierten Land wie Deutschland noch immer weit unter 50 Prozent. Laut Statistischem Bundesamt (Oktober 2020) waren an den deutschen Hochschulen und Hochschulkliniken zum Jahresende 2019 rund 407 000 Personen im wissenschaftlichen Bereich beschäftigt, davon waren 161 200 Frauen. Der Frauenanteil am wissenschaftlichen Hochschulpersonal hatte sich damit um einen Prozentpunkt auf 40 Prozent erhöht. Professorinnen stellten gut ein Viertel der Professorenschaft. Am höchsten liegt der Anteil von Professorinnen bei den Geisteswissenschaften (39 Prozent), schon deutlich geringer ist der Anteil bei den Rechts-, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften (31 Prozent). In der Mathematik und den Naturwissenschaften stellen Professorinnen lediglich 20 Prozent und bei den Ingenieurswissenschaften schließlich nur noch 14 Prozent.

Weltweit sind Frauen in der akademischen Welt, besonders in Führungspositionen, deutlich unterrepräsentiert. Den gleichberechtigen Zugang für Frauen und Mädchen in der Wissenschaft und Forschung zu fördern ist deshalb ein wichtiger Schritt in der Umsetzung der Agenda 2030.

Dabei helfen Vorbilder, weil sie zeigen, was alles geht. Deshalb stellen wir am Internationalen Tag der Frauen und Mädchen in der Wissenschaft die junge Wissenschaftlerin Julia Rauh vor. Sie war 2019 Teilnehmerin des Mentoring for ESD-Leadership Programms und machte sich mit einem Projekt stark für die strukturelle Einbettung von Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung (BNE) in das Lehramtsstudium Geografie an der Universität Potsdam. Ermutigt zu ihrem Projekt und bei der Ausarbeitung begleitet hat sie dabei fast ein Jahr lang ihre „Mentorin auf Augenhöhe“, wie sie die Wissenschaftlerin Dr. Christa Henze von der Universität Duisburg-Essen nennt. Austausch auf der Lernplattform Moodle, persönliche Treffen und gemeinsame Teilnahme an internationalen Workshops ermutigten die junge Wissenschaftlerin. Aber auch von der langjährigen Erfahrung ihrer Mentorin im Wissenschaftsbetrieb konnte Julia Rauh vielfach profitieren: Die Kommunikation mit den für das Projekt relevanten Stellen wurde wesentlich erleichtert durch die Kenntnis institutioneller Strukturen und personeller Zuständigkeiten.

Das englischsprachige Programm Mentoring for ESD-Leadership richtet sich an junge Fachkräfte und Interessierte aus Deutschland, Indien, Mexiko und Südafrika. ESD steht für Education for Sustainable Development. Das zehnmonatige Programm bietet den Mentees die Möglichkeit, sich fachlich weiterzubilden und mit einem Mentor oder einer Mentorin aus dem eigenen Land eine eigene Projektidee im Bereich BNE zu verwirklichen. Insgesamt können jährlich 20 Mentees aus den Ländern Deutschland, Indien, Mexiko und Südafrika teilnehmen.

Weitere Informationen
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E+Z/D+C 2021/03 – tr – Ben Ezeamalu – Africa Covid

E+Z - February 10, 2021 - 2:30pm
Africa’s coronavirus statistics look comparatively good, but inoculation is needed urgently nonetheless

In early February, that had only happened in Egypt, Mauritius and Guinea. Guinea had administered a mere 55 vaccine doses, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. The comparative figure for Mauritius was 207. By contrast, 43 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered in the USA by 9 February. The comparative figures were 31 million in China, 12 million in Britain and 3 million in Germany.

This scenario is unacceptable. Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, wrote in the Guardian: “There are worrying signs of vaccine nationalism in Europe and North America.” Insisting that vaccination is not a matter of charity, he warned: “Until Africans get the Covid vaccinations they need, the whole world will suffer.” This is correct for several reasons. One is that virus mutations are likely in places where people are not inoculated, and those mutations can then affect other places. Another reason is that fear of the pandemic is an obstacle to economic development, so vaccination is important for international supply chains to be fully re-established. Since masses of Africans depend on the tourism sector, more­over, poverty is worsening because holidaymakers from prosperous world regions are staying away.

Africa was easily swept away in the race for the coronavirus vaccines. While the rich countries succeeded in acquiring millions of doses within the first few weeks of vaccine discovery, Africa is still negotiating with the manufacturers. John Nkengasong, the director of the Africa Centres of Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), described the situation as “discriminatory”. The Africa CDC is an institution of the African Union and cooperates with regional centres throughout the continent. Nkengasong added: “Excluding people based on their country of origin would defeat the vaccination programme’s goal of reaching herd immunity, which is achieved when a large part of the population is immune to the virus.”

The situation is not hopeless. The Covax initiative, which was started in the G20 context last year, has pledged to vaccinate 20 % of the people in partner countries, and that includes Africa. As a consequence, the World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to deliver 600 million doses of the vaccine. On top of that, the Africa CDC is hoping to secure another 270 million. That would be a good start, but it would certainly not suffice. Africa has a population of 1.3 billion people. It is worrisome, moreover, that the vaccines are scheduled to arrive from April on. There is reason to believe that things will not work out as planned.

In Nigeria, for instance, the first batch of 100,000 vaccines the country said it would purchase were initially billed to be delivered in the last week of January. It has since been shifted to early February. As of 9 February, Nigeria’s 200 million people were still waiting for vaccinations to begin.

In South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in January that 1.5 million doses, which would have vaccinated about 750,000 people, would arrive “in the next several weeks”. His policy is now in disarray after scientists found that the AstraZeneca vaccine does not adequately protect people from the coronavirus mutant that is spreading in – and also beyond – his nation.

There are several vaccines. Three are produced by multinational pharma corporations based in Western countries. All three have been approved by regulators according to international standards. There are also vaccines from Russia, India and China. Research suggests that they are effective, but by early February, they had not been approved by the WHO which adheres to international standards. For obvious reasons, people around the world prefer pharmaceuticals that meet the requirements of the strictest regulators. As the WHO is playing an important role in Africa, its criteria are very important. Even if they want to, African policymakers will find it hard to simply opt for other vaccines than the WHO appreciates.

Africa’s Covid-19 track record

The need to protect Africans from the coronavirus must not be underestimated. That, however, is happening to some extent because Africa has been trailing behind the rest of the world in terms of Covid-19 infections and deaths. Why that is so, is not fully understood. Experts say that hot climates may play a role and that Africa’s comparatively young populations may be less affected. Moreover, African societies are said to have learned to stick to hygiene rules in view of several Ebola outbreaks. The list goes on.

As of 9 February, Africa has recorded 3.7 million cases of coronavirus, with 3.2 million recoveries and not quite 96,000 deaths, according to Worldometer’s global coronavirus tracker. Southern Africa accounted for nearly half of those cases, with most infections registered in South Africa.

The official statistics, however, probably do not show the full picture. Health infrastructure tends to be particularly poor in least developed countries and, more generally speaking, in the remote areas of developing countries and emerging markets. Testing capacities depend on the quality of health infrastructure. Most likely, some Covid-19 patients are never professionally diagnosed with this disease in Africa. On the other hand, people know about the pandemic, and mobile-phone connectivity means that rural people can make themselves heard when an unprecedented health disaster escalates.

New coronavirus variants

African countries responded to the first news of the pandemic fast. Early travel restrictions and lockdown measures have probably helped to curtail the spread of the virus. Nonetheless, there is now a second wave, and the discovery of new Covid-19 variants is a matter of concern. Infection numbers rose in December and January in Africa. On 28 January, Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa told a virtual press conference: “In the past week, there has been a small dip in cases in South Africa, but 22 countries continue to see their case numbers surge.” According to her, the number of deaths had doubled in four weeks.

Africa needs effective protection against the disease. Moreover, the global community needs Africa to be protected. Policymakers around the world must speed up efforts to make that happen. As the Rwandan president wrote in his newspaper comment, this is not about charity: “All we ask for is transparency and fairness in vaccine access, not the protectionism currently in play.” He wants the WHO to speed up the approval processes for vaccines. Moreover, he demands that countries with small populations get the same affordable pharma prices as the EU or the US have negotiated with powerful multinational corporations.

Ben Ezeamalu is a senior reporter who works for Premium Times in Lagos.
Twitter: @callmebenfigo

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Ehemalige Kindersoldaten im Irak brauchen eine Perspektive

Unicef - February 10, 2021 - 2:00pm
Kinder im Irak konnten in ihrer Kindheit bisher kaum Frieden erleben. Der Islamische Staat (IS) hatte dort über tausend Kinder als Soldat*innen rekrutiert. Am diesjährigen Red Hand Day weist das »Deutsche Bündnis Kindersoldaten« auf die Situation dieser Kinder hin.
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Navigating through an external agenda and internal preferences: Ghana’s national migration policy

DIE - February 10, 2021 - 1:13pm

In the context of international migration from African countries to Europe, the EU widely applies the strategy of curbing irregular migration. EU efforts focus on combating the root causes of migration and flight as well as achieving African compliance on return and re-admission. This approach ignores the interests of the countries of origin. It also undermines what countries of origin do to deal with migration in their own states. In West Africa, the regional organisation ECOWAS strongly promotes migration management, and introduced the 2008 ECOWAS Common Approach on Migration with guidelines for migration governance in the region. Ghana, as one of the first ECOWAS member states, adopted a National Migration Policy (NMP) in 2016. The country has a long history of migration, has experienced different migration trends and is affected by various streams of migration. As little is known about the country’s policy responses to migration, this study investigates migration policy-making in Ghana. It specifically examines the case of the NMP for Ghana and aims at uncovering stakeholder involvement in the policy-making process as well as its determinants. Guided by an analytical framework derived from theoretical considerations of the advocacy coalition framework, the interconnection of institutions, actors and ideas and an extensive literature review, the study uses a qualitative approach. The results are based on 14 weeks of field research in Ghana in which 40 experts were interviewed. Together with an analysis of a plethora of secondary data the study finds that when deciding to get involved in the policy-making process for the NMP for Ghana, stakeholders tend to be led by their interests and the resources they possess, as these are what their power is based on. The research further reveals that the NMP does not primarily address a perceived problem related to migration within Ghana, that is to say the internal migration flows from deprived to less deprived areas. Rather it largely pursues the interests of the EU, who is the main financer of the policy, to foster migration control. The results of the study therefore suggest that in the policy formulation process for Ghana’s NMP, internal interests were outweighed by the external agenda of the EU.

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