The Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has urged the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Diaspora Affairs unit at the Office of the President to hasten development of the Diaspora Policy document.
According to him, it is a critical document because it will stimulate the inflow of potentials needed to develop the country.
He said: “China has chalked up a lot of successes in this area, and there are benefits such as the reverse flow of technical skills for the Asian market. China, for example, offers attractive salary packages and multiple-entry visas for migrants who have lost their Chinese citizenship among others. So, this homecoming must be based on how we handle clear policies to attract people of the diaspora community back home”.
Mr. Oppong Nkrumah made this statement at the launch of the Ghana Diaspora Celebration and Homecoming Summit organised by the Diaspora Affairs at the Office of the President.
Themed: “Recognising Diaspora Contributions Toward Nation Building”, the minister stated that people living in the diaspora must be presented with attractive packages so they can come home and contribute their ideas and quo-ta to Ghana’s growth and development agenda. He said the contributions of the diaspora is significant and its potential value is immeasurable.
According to the World Bank in 2012, US$60billion was estimated as diaspora remittances to Africa. This, Mr. Oppong Nkrumah said, is a significant contribution to the local economy and has the potential to bring more skills and more direct investments into the cpuntry.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyemang, said the Ghana Diaspora Celebration and Homecoming Summit is the foundation pillar of ‘The Year of Return’ – a celebration in the African-American and Diaspora Market to mark 400 years of the first enslaved African arriving in Jamestown, Virginia. Ghana was selected as the ‘home’ for the homecoming.
According to him, the Ghana Tourism Authority received about 130 proposals from individuals and organisation for activities to mark ‘The Year of Return’. In all, 78 of these were approved.
He noted that this year’s homecoming summit is based on celebrating the global African family, connecting and re-engaging the global African family, and combining resources to build a prosperous Ghana.
“We are committed to ensuring that the homecoming summit becomes a successful global summit,” he assured.
In his remarks, Kwabena Ohene Gyan, a member of the Diaspora community said: “It is always heartwarming to engage with my roots and with other diasporans. There is a need to come back and effect change through our activities. The diaspora movement is a critical one, and we need to embrace it in spite of its challenges”.
Mr. Ohene Gyan urged all diasporans with aspirations to come back home and invest their passion and build more partnerships with Ghanaians living in Ghana.