A new policy set to harness the human and material resources of the diaspora community in Ghana and across the world will soon be put before Cabinet, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, has announced.
The Diaspora Engagement Policy, the Minister indicated, would build capacity, enhance diaspora-homeland relationship for the mutual benefit of parties, and foster the socio-economic transformation of the country.
Speaking at the maiden diaspora business breakfast meeting in Accra yesterday, Ms Botchway explained that the policy would provide the legal instrument and programmes that “will extend some rights and privileges that Ghanaians in Ghana enjoy to their counterparts in the Diaspora.”
“The policy will strengthen systems for involving the Ghanaian diaspora in mobilising resources for sustainable national development; it will facilitate the production and dissemination of accurate and relevant data on the Ghanaian diaspora in a timely manner to strengthen the homeland’s further sustainable engagement with the diaspora,” the Minister said.
The interaction, organised by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), on the theme ‘Creating Connections – Building Ghana…Together’, pooled the diaspora from across several sectors in the world of business and culture.
The policy, when adopted, will provide for the leveraging of investment benefits and privileges through strategies that promote foreign direct investment to Ghana from the diaspora.
“It will enable us to mainstream diaspora investments, skills and knowledge transfer into development planning, in addition to the promotion of made-in-Ghana products abroad through expos and fairs,” Madam Botchway disclosed.
The policy will afford the design of attractive financial packages to enhance diaspora investment for development.
The successful celebration of the ‘Year of Return’ had proven that when the diaspora was effectively engaged, the nation derived huge economic dividends.
“The resounding success of the ‘Year of Return’ in galvanising the diaspora should motivate us to develop more innovative programmes and activities for a sustained diaspora engagement,” the Minister said.
Madam Botchway noted that the implementation of the ‘Beyond the Return,’ a 10-year project to grow Ghana’s tourism industry and showcase its investment potential “should receive the active support of all key stakeholders.”
“The ‘Beyond the Return’ project should be an avenue to continuously market Ghana as the preferred destination for the diaspora,” the Minister submitted.
The Foreign Affairs Minister was confident that feedback from the meeting would contribute to shaping government policies, particularly the objectives of the Diaspora Engagement Policy.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GIPC, Mr Yofi Grant was impressed that the diaspora community had expressed interest in either living or establishing businesses in Ghana.
It was, therefore, his desire to convert the limitless opportunities in Ghana to viable economic activity, noting, “Together, let’s grow in Ghana and grow with Ghana.”