GHANA:  SECAM Commits to Improving Policies on Security, Migration at 19th Plenary Assembly

By Odiwuor Opiyo

ACCRA, AUGUST 2, 2022 (CISA) – “Several regions of our continent are experiencing great insecurity due to socio-political instability, violence, economic poverty, weak health structures, insurgency, terrorism, exploitation of religion for political purposes and lack of respect for the environment and good governance,” reads a message of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) at the end of the 19th plenary assembly on August 1 in Accra, Ghana.

At the plenary assembly themed; Ownership of SECAM: Security and Migration in Africa and the Islands, the Synod of Bishops urged political stakeholders and decision-makers to do the utmost to fight against insecurity as a fulfillment of their responsibility in managing our countries. Through the statement, they further called all people to be alert in situations of insecurity and collectively seek solutions to the problem.

“The church must take an important part in this search. This is why the church must play her prophetic role, by firmly and clearly denouncing situations of insecurity and their causes. She must also continue to offer everyone reasons for hope and peace in collaboration with organizations working for reconciliation justice and peace,” further read the statement.

The Bishops also encouraged leaders to put structures in place including good governance, employment opportunities, multifaceted security, political and social inclusion, promotion of social justice to discourage irregular migration, urging intending migrants in the same breath, to exercise their right to migrate in a manner that is administratively acceptable and with full knowledge of the challenges that await them.

“We urge host countries to respect the rights and human dignity of migrants,” maintained the prelates while encouraging Christian communities to, “develop an active pastoral care for migration…welcome, protect promote and integrate,” they sustained.

Speaking to young people who seek to migrate, the prelates encouraged that they don’t lose hope and to hold on to God through a life of holiness committing themselves to, “take measures that will encourage their free choice and the ones that will involve them in the construction 0f their countries.

“We wish to express our pains in seeing our youth leaving our countries, knowing that they are going to suffer and possibly lose their lives and we lament our inability to stop them from leaving,” they chided in the message.

The Synod of Bishops who, moreover, affirmed their commitment to engaging the world of media through traditional, modern and social means of communication and the new discoveries of the digital era saying,  “We shall intensify the ethical and technical formation of the professionals and practitioners of church communications while engaging with the philosophies and ideologies that underpin contemporary media institutions, practice expertise in order to make them agents of communion, reconciliation and peace.”