Work will soon begin on the Diaspora Development Policy document which is aimed at targeting more Ghanaians living abroad, encouraging them to bring their technical skills, money and investment opportunities home to develop the country.
This was announced by the Minister for Information, Hon Kojo Oppong Nkrumah who charged the Office of Diaspora Affairs to speed up work on the Policy Document during the Global Media launch of the 2019 Ghana Diaspora Celebrations and Homecoming Summit in Accra on the theme “Recognising Diaspora Contributions towards Nation Building.”
He said the policy if introduced will attract and encourage Ghanaians in the Diaspora to bring their technical skills, money and investment opportunities back home for the growth and development.
He lauded the immense contributions of the diaspora community and disclosed that the Akufo-Addo led government acknowledged the potential role that they can play in helping to stimulate the development agenda.
He said: “The potential value of the diaspora community to the local economy is immeasurable and helps the President’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda. Many ideas and feedback from the Diaspora Homecoming summits have been put in good use, for example extending the duration of passports from five to 10 years and the recent measures by government to reduce port charges.”
He also encouraged diaspora community to explore how to use technology to impact the growth agenda back home.
Mr. Nkrumah appealed to the community to spread the news globally about the upcoming summit.
This year’s Ghana Diaspora Celebration and Homecoming Summit is scheduled to take place in July at the Accra International Conference Centre.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his vice Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, Trade and Industry Minister, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, as well as Tourism Minister, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, are expected to address diasporan Ghanaians at the Summit.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah however traced diaspora homecoming in Ghana to the days of George Grant, J.B Danquah, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah “who returned home to serve in the struggle even for independence.”
According to the Minister, the contributions of the diaspora from Ghana’s pre-independence days till now have been significant.
“The potential value of the diasporan community to the local community is immeasurable,” he said.
He noted that the New Patriotic Party’s administration acknowledges the potential role that the diaspora community can play in stimulating economic development and indicated that it was the first time that a diaspora bureau has been created at the presidency.
The summit, he says, aims at recognizing diaspora contributions towards nation-building and urged the need for the completion of the Diaspora Policy Document.
Director of the Office of Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President, Akwasi Awua Ababio, also called for the creation of a national service scheme to enable Ghanaian youths in the diaspora to serve the nation, stressing that with President Akufo-Addo’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid, the diaspora cannot be left out.
By PROSPER AGBENYEGA