Vice President John Dramani Mahama has said prospective Ghanaian travelers to western Europe should stop using former Soviet republic countries as transit points to their destinations.
He said many travelers were made to think it would be easy to acquire visas to western countries if one could get to any of the former Soviet republics but this had often proved to be untrue as they are left stranded.
The Vice President said under such circumstances, the government had had to draw up strategies to rescue stranded Ghanaians and “this is not only embarrassing but also portrays Ghanaians as undisciplined travelers to other countries.”
He said this Sunday during the 50th anniversary celebration dinner of the Soviet Trained Ghanaian Graduates Association (SOTGGA) in Accra under the theme;”Education Anywhere and Nation Building Everywhere.”
The celebration attracted graduates who were trained in the then Soviet Union and are either in active service or on retirement,
Late President Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah signed an agreement with the former Soviet Union after independence to train the infant country’s manpower in the then communist super power’s institutions of higher learning.
The Vice President, who studied social psychology from the Soviet Union, appealed to the Public Service Commission and the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to recognise certificates from the former Soviet Union and said they were as good as those from western Europe.
He pledged the government’s commitment to partner SOTGGA to lobby former Soviet republics to step up their scholarship allocations to enable more Ghanaians to be trained in their countries.
Dr Vladimar Antwi-Danso, the President of the Association, said the training of Ghanaians in the then Soviet Union had impacted positively on the country as the graduates had contributed to the socio-economic growth of the country.
“The Soviet trained graduates are everywhere in the country, either in the academia, public service or even in politics of Ghana, our presence is felt everywhere.” he said.
Dr Antwi-Danso appealed to the MDAs to partner the Public Services Commission to streamline the grading system of graduates from former Soviet universities which had over the years generated controversies in the public service.