Kofi Kinaata Champions Regular Pathways At International Dialogue On Migration

Last week, renowned Ghanaian musician and National Goodwill Ambassador for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Kofi Kinaata, lent his distinctive voice to international efforts to promote regular migration pathways at the International Dialogue on Migration (IDM). Kinaata joined over 250 participants from governments, civil society, private sector partners and UN organizations from around the world at the event, which is IOM’s principal forum for migration policy dialogue.

The event, which took place from 21 to 22 May, focused on “Facilitating Regular Pathways to a better future: Harnessing the power of migration.”

We are honored that Kofi Kinaata is adding his voice to the International Dialogue on Migration, helping us to ensure that our message about the importance of safe and regular migration pathways is heard loud and clear,” said IOM Director General, Amy Pope. “All of our Goodwill Ambassadors play an important role by amplifying our efforts to improve the lives of people on the move.

“Becoming a National Goodwill Ambassador for IOM was my chance to address the pressing migration issues I have witnessed. Young people from my home in Western Ghana were risking dangerous journeys to Libya, hoping to reach Europe for a better life,” said Kofi Kinaata during his intervention at the IDM. “I realized I could use my music to raise awareness and inspire change among the youth in my region and beyond.”

IOM Ghana and Kofi Kinaata have joined forces to promote regular migration pathways and raise awareness of the dangers associated with irregular migration since 2017. From International Migrants Day celebrations to radio discussions to engagements with former Ghanaian migrants who had returned home, Kofi Kinaata has been committed to IOM and to the Ghanaian youth. This commitment is reflected in initiatives such as an annual youth seminar created by Kinaata, taking place around International Migrants Day in his hometown, Takoradi, and several migration-related songs written by him.

Kofi Kinaata mesmerized everyone with his performance at the #IDMigration24 last week in New York, touching hearts with his impactful lyrics.

In explaining his musical approach to relay IOM’s message, Kofi Kinaata emphasized the importance of regular conversations with migrants to better understand their stories. “The most challenging part is viewing this topic from a migrant’s perspective and coming up with a song that wouldn’t come off as a reminder of the struggles they may have gone through. The challenge is how to make the music sound appealing while giving a piece of advice to those who are thinking about migrating irregularly.” These discussions have led to the creation of songs like No Place Like Home, Behind the Scenes, Thy Grace, and the newest song, Saman, released in May 2024.

Through his unique songwriting style, incorporating traditional African proverbs and singing in his local language, Kinaata reaches a broad audience. “Through my music, I can be a resounding voice that people listen to. I want to create music that is appealing to both the young and old generations and that is both entertaining and educative.”

Kofi Kinaata also paid a courtesy call on Ambassador and Permanent Representative at Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Harold Agyeman, who commended him for his work and encouraged him to use his voice to inspire society.

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