The government of Ghana says it is ready to host thousands of Ghanaians who will be coming back to the country in July to participate in this year’s Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit. The summit, which forms part of government’s policy to reach out to the Diaspora community, will take place at the International Conference Centre in Accra from July 5th to July 8, 2017.
Speaking at the launch of the event, the Minister for Information, Mustapha Hamid, said the summit will afford Ghanaians the opportunity to tap into the expertise of others. According to him, it was time Ghanaians who have succeeded outside the country to be seen as icons and given the opportunity to give back to the society. “Often times, there is a tendency for government to think of Ghanaians as only those who live within the geographical area. But those who live outside our borders can, and do contribute a lot to our development agenda. For any government to make its political, developmental or economic calculation without the Diaspora automatically gives up 40% to 50% of its economic strength. We are therefore determining that, there will be Diaspora inclusion in our development agenda and it will be at the heart of our projects and programmes.”
On his part, the Director of the Diaspora Relations Office at the Presidency, Akwasi Awua Ababio, said the Diaspora community was not in competition with Ghanaians residing in Ghana, as they only seek to combine their strengths to make the country better. According to him, although efforts were made by the previous government to harness the resources and skills of the community, the measures put in place were not structured in a systematic manner. He also lamented the exclusion of the Diaspora community in the country’s political system. “Our office has been tasked with the responsibility of doing things that will enable us realise the goals and opportunities the country can derive from the Diaspora community.”
Speaking on behalf of the committee set up to supervise the summit, Chairman of the Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit, said all was set to receive the Ghanaians coming back home. He also thanked the private sector and some corporate organizations who had partnered with government to host the summit.
The summit is also partnered with the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, and Business Development and Diaspora Relations Office at the Presidency.