Government will protect all its citizens abroad – Ayorkor Botchwey
Ghana would use diplomacy to give enhanced protection for all its citizens abroad, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has said.
She said an attack on any Ghanaian anywhere was an attack on the sovereignty of Ghana.
“This point must be stressed as we continue to receive reports of abuse of our citizens who are recruited by job agents to go to work in some Gulf States” Ms Botchwey told heads of Diplomatic Missions from the Asia Pacific and the Middle-East region on Wednesday.
“Your Excellencies, this is an issue we must openly confront in an honest and contrite manner. We must not only condemn them, but take practical and urgent steps to address them, the Foreign Minister said during the interactive session.
Ms Botchwey appealed to the missions to take bold steps to arrest the unfortunate developments of the maltreatment of Ghanaian labour migrants in their various countries.
The two-day interactive session was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to share thoughts on strengthening and advancing relations with all foreign missions and their respective countries.
The missions were grouped into the Africa Region, the America and Latin America Region, the Asia Pacific, Middle-East Region as well as the Europe Region.
It was used to brief the Missions on government foreign policy and other commitments that Ghana had with countries and international entities like UN, AU and ECOWAS.
The meeting was also used to brief the missions on the crucial issue of illegal mining and its toll on the Ghanaian environment, and to solicit their technical and financial support to help end it.
“We demand that those found culpable should face the legal consequences to serve as a deterrent to others. We are very confident that your governments will not condone such unlawful actions”, she said.
“I urge you to ensure the fair treatment of all our citizens who are recruited to undertake menial jobs in your various countries”, she said.
She said if the missions could work collectively and together with Ghana to stem the negative trend of maltreating Ghanaian migrants, then citizens would no longer live with the wrong perception that countries in the Gulf Region were notorious places for the maltreatment of hired migrant labour.
She asked the missions to also support government to focus of building one factory in each district and a dam each in every village, within the broader objective of making the agriculture sector the bedrock of the Ghanaian economy.
The Minister also urged the diplomats to support Ghana in seeking new markets for Ghanaian products in their various countries by marketing Ghana as an ideal and safe investments destination.
She said government on its part, was putting in place critical measures to realise its vision of making Ghana work again, through the use of economic diplomacy policy as a tool to achieve results in the growth, expansion and diversification of the economy.
Ms Botchwey said has instituted the creation of an Economic, Trade and Investments Bureau (ECTIB) to coordinate all activities relating to trade and investment between the Ministry and its Missions abroad and with it foreign partners as well.
Ms Botchwey said: “I urge you to work assiduously with our government to leverage the goodwill, democratic credentials and respect of our country, to attract development/business partners to help realise our desire for faster economic growth and sustainable development”.