Diaspora Policy framework to harmonise investment for development


The Director of Diaspora Affairs-Office of the President, AKwesi Awua Ababio, has stated that government comprehends the significant role of the diaspora community in economic development, and is therefore working assiduously to put in place the ‘National Diaspora Policy Framework’ to harmonise expertise and resources for development.

According to him, the policy comprises a variety of measures aimed at engaging, maintaining or developing a relationship with the African diaspora, as well as creating an enabling environment to turn remittances into investment and other productive ventures which promote development and create jobs.

He emphasised that the policy document, which is at the Cabinet level, is critical for coordinating activities of diasporans to derive maximum benefits from their resources, as well as expertise from their professionals.

“Our diaspora community has so much we can tap into to harmonise development. The diaspora office at the Presidency has been working over the past four years to properly shape the policy framework that will serve as a guide or roadmap to harness all the benefits we can imagine.

“Currently, professionals abroad only come home to visit family and friends for some weeks and go back without making any impact with their expertise or human capital. And so, with this policy framework, we create connections and provide the means for these professionals – like lawyers, doctors, engineers, ICT experts – to collaborate with similar professionals back home for development,” he said.

He made these remarks at the International Migrants Day commemoration event held in Accra on the theme ‘Joining Hands, Building Bonds’, organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Diaspora Affairs Office, European Union, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

Chief of Mission-IOM Ghana, Fatou Diallo Ndiaye, re-echoed the IOM’s commitment to support migrant communities’ reconnection to their home countries, and the mission team in Ghana will continue working closely with government to tackle issues of migration.

She added that the IOM believes a sustainable reintegration of returnees is only possible when all migration stakeholders are on board; hence its innovative integrated approaches involve reintegration at individual, community and structural levels.

A panel discussion – on the topic ‘How can the diaspora be empowered to contribute to socioeconomic development and creation of green jobs in Ghana’ – recommended that the policy framework be popularised across the country and beyond; and every family with diaspora relations to get access, organise forums and provide platforms to discuss and widen the conversation, and use then the data on diaspora and remittances to influence policy decision.

Other recommendations calls for fostering inter-agency collaboration on diaspora operations; human capital investment for the transfer of knowledge; engagement with faith-based leaders in the USA with Ghanaian origin; and the use of musicians and other celebrities to spread the agenda.

Panel members included Ariana Gasparri, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Eric Akomanyi of IOM, Fatmata Lovetta Sesay, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mariam Lamptey, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Nadia Adongo, Office of Diaspora Affairs, Davisha Johnson, and African Diaspora Collective USA.

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