In preparation for the newly appointed Ambassadors and High Commisioners to represent Ghana abroad, the DIrector of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President Mr. Akwasi Awua Ababio was invited to make a presentation on the topic “Diaspora Engagement for Development” on Wednesday, 14th April, 2021 at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in the Dr. Obed Asamoah Conference Room.
The Director during his submission reiterated the importance of the Diaspora to Ghana as they carry powerful assets which when harnessed can help transform the nation. Mr. Awua further highlighted the important role the Office of Diaspora Affairs plays in ensuring there is a framework which can be structured and instituted to allow the country effectively engage and include the Diaspora in nation building. Moreover, the Office he mentioned was working with the National Identification Authority to make a database of Ghanaians living in the Diaspora.
As a result, he shared with the newly appointed envoys the Diaspora Engagement Policy which is in the pipeline, a comprehensive document which had been compiled following stakeholder consultations in various countries including the United States, France, Germany, U.K., Canada and Nigeria. Mr. Ababio urged the Ambassadors and High Commisioners designates to make it a point to reach out to the Ghanaian Diaspora and to make Ghana a place of interest for them not only to move back but at the very least invest in financially. The historical Diaspora was not left out of the discussion. Here, Mr. Ababio mentioned the country may have to in the forseeable future develop an orientation programme to better manage the expectations of all those who desire to return or move to Ghana.
In an engaging question and answer session with the newly appointed envoys, some issues raised included: addressing issues of irregular migrations; ensuring Ghanaians in the diaspora can vote; dual citizenship; and an appeal to have the country be cautious in how it deals with the identities of others who have been called to return to Ghana. An appeal was also made to have Diaspora Affairs work closely with Ghana’s missions abroad.
Mr. Ababio further briefed the Designates on the Year of Return, its successes and challenges and further highlighted the Beyond the Return agenda.