Government to address problems of the diaspora – Director of Diaspora Affairs

Mr. Akwasi Awua Ababio, Director, Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, has said that government is taking steps to address the problems of the diaspora.

He said they were prepared to engage Parliament to enable Ghanaians in the diaspora not to just come home, but come home to assist in every aspect of nation building.

He said the office has taken steps to form a legal team to lobby appropriate stakeholders for the amendment of Articles 8(2) and 94(2)(a) of the 1992 Constitution, which restricts the rights of Ghanaians with dual citizenship, to fully participate in Ghana’s socio-economic discourse.

He said it was the belief that the removal of the constitutional restrictions would quicken the President’s commitment to allow Ghanaians living abroad to participate fully in the national discourse.

On the implementation of the Representation of The People’s Amendment Law, 1992 (PNDCL 284), (alias ROPAL), he said his team continuously engaged the Electoral Commission with practical suggestions towards implementation.

“We sincerely believe that our diaspora engagement could be further strengthened by implementation of the right of Ghanaians abroad to vote.”

There is also said the introduction of Voluntary Faculty, diaspora engagements, collaborations with international agencies such as IOM, the German government, the EU, the British High Commission and others, to ensure efficient and sustainable migration, to promote Ghana’s development and diaspora database.

Mr. Awua Ababio said the Diaspora Engagement Policy was a strategic document to promote constructive commitments between Ghana and its diaspora, for the purpose of leveraging mutual benefits.

The policy, he said, addresses issues of diaspora community such as enhancing diaspora-homeland relationships, issues of citizenship and nationality rights, social security and its portability, political incorporation and voting rights, social protection and human rights at destinations.

Mr. Awua Ababio said the Diaspora Engagement Policy was a strategic document to promote constructive commitments between Ghana and its diaspora for the purpose of leveraging mutual benefits.

It also addresses issues of creating linkages between the second and third generation Diasporas and Ghana, their homeland, creating linkages between the youthful Diaspora and Ghana, leveraging mutual investment benefits and privileges, mobilizing remittances (ideas, skills, funding) for sustainable development and return, re-admission and reintegration.

He said this at the Ghana Diaspora Celebration and Homecoming Summit 2019, held in Accra.

He said the Diaspora Affairs office was established by the President in fulfilment of the commitment to involve Ghanaians living abroad in the country’s development.

Mr. Awua Ababio said the Ghanaian diaspora extends beyond Ghanaian citizens and their immediate relatives living abroad but includes people of African descent and people with vested interest in the country.

The homecoming summit was instituted as a biennial event to rally Ghanaians living abroad to dialogue, network and explore economic and investment opportunities in Ghana in furtherance of the President’s Agenda of Ghana beyond Aid.

He said the 2019 diaspora celebration and homecoming summit, builds on the previous ones, especially the 2017 event, following the maiden one held in 2001 under the leadership of former President John A. Kufuor.

“The aim of this third summit is to highlight and celebrate the various achievements of the diaspora towards Ghana’s development,” he said.

According to him, on the larger economic front, government was increasingly leveraging on technology and e-governance to improve service delivery.

Source: GNA

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