Author: admin_dev


Join the Future of Ghana Research Study

Research Survey…

Future of Ghana Ltd are pleased to announce our research survey aimed at the 2nd generation British Ghanaian demographic is now live on futureofghana.com. The survey follows a pre-survey released last month undertaken to give us a better sense of our potential data and refine our research.

This survey forms part of a wider research study (to include focus groups and interviews) on the ways in which the 2nd generation British Ghanaian engages with Ghana, why they do so and how they would like to. At the same time building up a profile of who the 2nd generation actually are.  

The findings will be published in a report in time for Independence Day next year.

 

Why?…

The purpose of the study is to explore the ways in which diaspora groups interact with their ‘home’ countries.  As stated the focus of this study is 2nd generation Ghanaians in the UK, how they engage with/desire to engage with Ghana (i.e. through social, cultural, economic/financial and skills channels) and its implications for diaspora engagement efforts, policies and development.

The study will attempt to understand the underlying factors driving engagement with Ghana, the priorities and patterns of 2nd generation engagement (in comparison to 1st generation) and what, if any, barriers to engagement exist. We are intent on ensuring your collective voices are represented, which we hope will help shape policy, add to the dialogue around the diaspora and contribute to Ghana’s diaspora engagement efforts.

 

Who?…

We are inviting all 2nd generation British Ghanaians who resides in the UK aged 18 years old and above to participate in this study by taking the survey.
For the purposes of this study, 2nd generation British Ghanaian is being defined as:

  • UK born children of at least 1 Ghanaian born parent
  • Ghanaian born children of at least 1 Ghanaian parent who emigrated to the UK before primary school age (5 years old) and settled here.

 

Results..

The results of the survey will be analysed with data collected from focus group discussions and interviews and used towards a research report to be published by Future of Ghana Ltd.

The final report will be completed by March 2018, and we will be sharing the report with all participants. It will be formally launched at an event in mid-2018.
For more information on the study visit our website and you can take the survey here.

The best books on Ghana: start your summer reading here

A literary tour of Ghana takes in the early disappointments of independence, a woman’s search for personal freedom, and the gradual evolution of democracy.

 

The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah

This morality tale’s unnamed narrator, a railway clerk in Accra, strives to maintain his integrity amid the corruption that surrounds him in newly independent Ghana. His refusal to accept bribes, despite struggling to make ends meet on his meagre salary, angers those around him – especially his acquisitive wife.

The high hopes he had for the country at independence have soured, and he is bitter that things have grown rotten “with such obscene haste”. “The man”, as the narrator is referred to, views the new leaders as trying “to be the dark ghosts of Europeans” – aping the repression and rapacity of the country’s white former colonial masters.

Armah’s acerbic debut novel excoriates President Kwame Nkrumah’s government for the graft and extortion that were rife in 1960s Ghana. A military coup in 1966 overthrows Nkrumah but, rather than heralding better days to come, it merely brings “another group of bellies [that] will be bursting with the country’s riches”.

As the man continues to grapple with providing for his wife and children and resisting “the rot” he sees everywhere, a misspelled inscription on a bus (which provides the book’s title) offers a sliver of hope for an end to the ugly realities of the day.

Armah, born in the Gold Coast (now Ghana), lives as something of a recluse in Dakar, Senegal.

 

Changes: A Love Story by Ama Ata Aidoo

The provocative and engaging tale of a young woman in modern-day Accra who challenges sexism and social mores, Aidoo’s story resonates beyond Ghana.Esi Sekyi, a smart, spiritedcareer woman, feels stifled in her marriage. Finding her ambitions curbed and freedoms constrained by her husband, she decides to divorce him.

No one Esi knows is remotely sympathetic. Her sharp-tongued grandmother chastises her, saying women must do “the serious business of living with our heads and never our hearts”.

And her best friend, Opokuya Dakwa, who wants more freedom in her own marriage, reminds her: “Our people have said that for any marriage to work, one party has to be a fool … And they really mean the woman.”

Esi meets Ali Kondey, a successful businessman, and is charmed by him. They become lovers, and Ali – a Muslim who is married and has children – urges Esi to become his second wife. Curiously, for such a fiercely independent woman, she agrees.

Later, as disillusionment with her polygamous marriage sets in, she reflects on life “stretching ahead like the Yendi-Tamale road when it was first constructed: straight, flat and endless”.

Aidoo wears her feminism on her sleeve, and gets her message across with sly humour rather than being preachy or shouty. The author, also a poet and playwright, served briefly as minister of education in the 1980s.

 

My First Coup Detat by John Dramani Mahama

Mahama’s first coup – which he experienced as a seven-year-old – was the army’s 1966 ousting of Nkrumah, who had led Ghana to independence from Britain nine years earlier. It proved to be a life-changing experience for the author. His father, a government minister, was held by the military for more than a year and came back a changed man.

Reinventing himself as a rice farmer, Mahama Sr became extremely wealthy. He eventually returned to politics, only to be forced to flee the country after yet another coup.

His father plays a big part in Mahama’s endearing memoir, in which he recounts his coming of age – in tandem with his newly independent country – during Africa’s “lost decades”. During that bleak post-colonial period – from the late 60s to the 90s – the continent was bedevilled by economic stagnation and political turbulence.

Mahama delivers an intimate, insider’s account through personal stories, and weaves in some of Ghana’s own progress and pitfalls along the way.

The cycle of coups finally ended in 1992, when the country adopted a new constitution and entered into an era of democracy that brought “the return of hope”.

Like his father, Mahama went into politics. He published this book during his term as vice-president, and went on to serve as president from 2012 to 2017.

Pushpinder Khaneka is the author of Read the World: A Country-by-Country Guide to the Best Books on the Global South

Article via The Guardian

 

Is This the Woman Who Will Save Uber?

A little over a year before Bozoma Saint John became the first chief brand officer at Uber, the transportation company’s best hope to rehabilitate its tarnished image, she hailed a ride from the Four Seasons hotel in Austin, Tex., to a nearby business dinner. What pulled up was a wreck.

“Hey, nothing’s going to happen to me in this car, right?” Ms. Saint John said half-jokingly to the driver. “You can drive, right?”

She expected him to banter back. Instead, he told her that a group of taxi drivers at the airport had vandalized the vehicle and that he needed the money from this ride to fix it. He also mentioned that he had been saving to see Iggy Pop, his late brother’s favorite rocker, at the South by Southwest festival, which Ms. Saint John was attending as the head of global consumer marketing for iTunes and Apple Music.

She gasped. Her dinner was with Iggy Pop. Would the driver, perhaps, like to come along?

Cue the tears (and the five-star passenger rating).

“Everybody was like: ‘What’s happening? Is this your date? I don’t understand. Why is this guy here?’” Ms. Saint John said. “It was such a beautiful, human moment,” one that was chronicled on her Instagram account, @badassboz, where she has more than 40,000 followers.

“We’re all rushing in our lives, and I was so concerned with getting from here to there, and if not for the moment of humanity where we just started talking, that connection would not have happened,” she said. “What a miss that would have been. What a miss!”

This story was part of what convinced Arianna Huffington, a founder of The Huffington Post and a high-profile member of Uber’s board, that Ms. Saint John was the right person to shepherd Uber out of its recent thicket of legal and ethical scandals.

She moved to New York, and through a temp agency got gigs as a catering server and a receptionist for an Upper East Side dog-washing salon. She also began going to nightclubs, where she made friends with influencers like Rene Mclean, who ran a D.J. boot camp. Her temp agency sent her to SpikeDDB, Spike Lee’s advertising firm. Mr. Lee had fired his assistant and wanted someone to answer phones while he looked for a new one.

“She walked in, she got the job,” he said. “It was evident that she was going to go places.”

Ms. Saint John went from making coffee runs to helping Mr. Lee brainstorm campaigns, like casting Beyoncé, who had just left Destiny’s Child, as Carmen in a Pepsi commercial.

“That became the turning point where, O.K., I can actually use my knowledge of pop culture, running around these streets with my friends, knowing the inside track on things, to help inform business decisions,” she said. She also met her husband-to-be, an advertising executive, in the company cafeteria.

After a stint selling smoking cessation products for GlaxoSmithKline, Ms. Saint John took a marketing job at Pepsi, coming up with projects like the “Pepsi DJ Division,” which included D.J. Khaled.

In 2013, she orchestrated the halftime show Pepsi sponsored at the Super Bowl featuring Beyoncé. Four months later, her husband’s illness was diagnosed. Their daughter had just turned 4.

“Towards the end of his life, as everything started to fail, he was very adamant that I not stop what I was doing,” Ms. Saint John said. “He was telling me to hold his hands because he couldn’t grasp anymore, saying, ‘Promise me, you’re going to keep going.’”

On the 13th anniversary of their first date, Ms. Saint John posted a status update on Facebook, saying in part, “we reflect over our years together as he has a chemo cocktail and I drink red wine in a paper cup.” Mr. Saint John died in December 2013. Ms. Saint John, true to her word, kept going. In February 2014, Jimmy Iovine, a founder of Interscope Records, found out she was in Los Angeles for a sister’s wedding and requested a meeting at his house in Malibu. He had just started Beats Music, a streaming service, with her teenage idol, Dr. Dre. Who was Mr. Iovine? How did streaming work? She wasn’t quite sure, but she drove to the beachside residence.

“We ended up talking for four hours,” Ms. Saint John said. “I was raw. I needed something to give me some hope for the future. I needed something that could help me see further. When he was talking about all this newfangled stuff, I said: ‘That sounds like the future! I’m going to the future!’”

Ms. Saint John quit Pepsi and moved to Los Angeles as the head of global marketing for Beats. Her role expanded when Apple acquired Beats for $3 billion in 2014, and she came up with popular ad campaigns for Apple Music, like a 2015 commercial in which Mary J. Blige, Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson bond over post-breakup songs in a light and palm-frond-filled mansion (“Siri, play ‘I Will Survive,’” Ms. Washington says). Last year, Ms. Saint John walked on stage at Apple’s developers’ conference — the first black woman to do so — blasting old-school rap and commanding the room of mostly white men to bounce to the beat.Wired wondered, “Who the hell is this badass woman, and how did Apple keep her secret for so long?”

After hearing Ms. Saint John’s story of her Austin ride, “I had a flash — ‘Wow, she’d be great at Uber,’” Ms. Huffington said. “I thought she would be a great person to tell these amazing stories of our drivers, to touch people’s hearts, to bring more humanity to the brand.”

In May, Ms. Saint John and Travis Kalanick, an Uber founder and then chief executive, spent eight hours at Ms. Huffington’s home in Los Angeles, discussing what she might do for the company, both grand and simple.

“I think I might need to wear a disguise, but I want to drive,” she said. “What happens when someone gets in the car and they’re upset? Is that a moment? Do you just stay quiet or do you talk?”

Mr. Kalanick would step down as chief executive a month later. The hunt is on for his successor. But whoever it is will have Ms. Saint John helping steer from the passenger seat, stilettos and speakers on.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Diaspora Ghanaians, A Clear Opportunity to Invest in Ghana

Many diaspora Ghanaians are eager to return home and invest when the economy and political situation are good for settlement and business. In 2001 when former president, J.A Kufuor, wrestled power from the revolutionary turned democrat, J.J Rawlings, he met an economy that was impoverished and highly indebted to donor countries. Kufuor was able to put things in place. He was able to inspire Ghana’s parliament and gave hope to the citizens to cherish the innovations and systematic development of his government which attracted foreign investors and diaspora Ghanaians. What is more, the judiciary at that time inspired confidence and trust among the citizenry and this made the diaspora look at the judiciary as the epitome of fairness.

The NPP regime under Akufo-Addo has begun to create conditions that are suitable and convenient for diaspora Ghanaians to return home to invest. The situation will gradually be like what happened under Kufuor when hundreds of Ghanaians abroad came home with different projects and investments. Banks were going from door to door asking people to come for loans. The condition to invest was perfect. However, when the NDC came to power, the economy sank to its lowest ebb; the value of the cedi went low against the dollar. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was the intermittent cut in electricity which became known as dumsor. The situation was so unbearable that many businesses had to fold up and the diaspora Ghanaians who came down under Kufuor had to return abroad.

The Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit 2017 was held at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) from the 5th to 8th of July 2017. The aim was to announce the vast investment opportunities that are going to be available under Akufo-Addo’s regime. In pursuance of the agenda of one village one factory, Ghanaians at home and abroad were urged to seize the opportunity to invest since the government was ready to support any Ghanaian who is ready to start a viable project. In this connection the government got a loan of $10 billion from the Chinese government to fulfil the campaign promises of one factory in every district and a million dollars for every constituency and other needs.

The money will be deposited in five strategic banks for anyone, including diaspora Ghanaians, to present projects and apply for funds from those selected banks. Ghana, like most African countries, has for long been classified as a virgin land and a land of opportunities. However, for the last decade, due to misrule, corruption and dumsor, diaspora Ghanaians were hesitant to come down and invest in Ghana. Existing companies were folding up due to dumsor, high cost of living and massive poverty. The political climate, the insightful governance of Nana Addo and effective policy implementation have convinced many diaspora Ghanaians to take advantage of the investment climate in Akufo-Addo’s Ghana. A call has already been made to Ghanaians to be part of the one district one factory agenda.

What are the best and most viable business ideas and investment opportunities in Ghana for investors and Ghanaian entrepreneurs abroad? Ghana has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa. With all the plans this present government has put in place, it is potentially and fundamentally viable and worthy to do business in Ghana. President Akufo-Addo has consistently and repeatedly appealed to Diaspora Ghanaians to take advantage of the strong and vast mineral resource sector, cocoa industry, consistent government policy, oil discoveries, steady power supply, friendly business environment and a free trade zone for foreign companies. With Nana Addo and his effective ministers in place, Ghana will definitely be a country to beat in future.

There are certain types of businesses that can easily be managed profitably by diaspora Ghanaians. The first is waste management. Many have gone into this waste management but the filth and garbage keep on mounting and these have overwhelmed the existing companies. Moreover, there are so many towns and villages whose wastes are still not managed. Diaspora Ghanaians can seize the opportunity to start waste management companies in Ghana. Telecommunications is also another business that can be looked at. There are several branches under telecommunication. One can specialize in the repair of mobile phones and the sale of accessories. Ghana is in need of such services across the entire country especially if one can combine these with effective distribution of internet to homes and offices.

Agriculture and food production is one of the best options for Ghanaians abroad. Everyone is aware that food is an irreplaceable need in our daily lives. The demand for farm products keeps on increasing and anyone who goes into food production is sure of an unending demand. In addition to food, one could also go into teak plantation which also generates money when harvested. The products on the farm can easily spark off a food processing factory. Indeed Ghana is waiting for entrepreneurs and investors. Nana Addo’s arms are open to receive and financially support abroad Ghanaians who present feasible project proposals.

There are several businesses in Ghana and as Ghana continues to enjoy a serene political climate in a true democracy, diaspora Ghanaians who decide to return home will discover to their joy that apart from fund support which will readily be available, they will be exposed to more ideas in the oil sector, estate management, service industry, education and many more. Indeed the progress and the positive achievements that will be made by Nana Addo and his NPP government lie within the womb of time.

By  Stephen Atta Owusu
Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads

WHY I CHOSE GERMANY OVER GHANA, HENRICHS REVEALS

The Bayer Leverkusen full-back sheds light on pledging his international allegiance to Die Mannschaft over the Black Stars

Germany youngster Benjamin Henrichs has lifted the lid on his decision to commit his international future to the 2014 world champions ahead of Ghana. Born to a German father and a Ghanaian mother in Bocholt, the Bayer Leverkusen right-back made two appearances as Joachim Low’s outfit beat Chile to win the 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup in Russia. He made his debut for Die Mannschaft in an 8-0 triumph over San Marino in November last year.

“Germany asked me at the age of 14 to play for their under-15 national team and I didn’t hear anything from Ghana until now,” Henrichs, who is currently on holiday in Ghana, told Atinka TV. Actually, I thought about it [playing for Ghana], maybe at the beginning, because I saw players like [Michael] Essien playing for Ghana [and] because they were like idols for me. But they [Ghana] never asked and I didn’t think about it anymore. So, when Germany asked, it was clear that I would play for Germany.”

Henrichs’ Germany involvement was down to an outstanding show in Bundesliga last season. In only his second campaign of professional football, the 20-year-old made 29 league appearances, involving 27 starts, as Leverkusen finished 12.

He also made seven outings, involving six starts, in the Champions League.

“I was just playing football at the beginning, so at the age of 11, 12, I didn’t think about playing for Germany or Ghana. Then Germany asked me and why should I say no when this was the only offer I got. That’s why I chose Germany. My mum wanted me to play for Ghana but I think she’s not sad that I’m playing for Germany now. I think she’s still happy.”

 

Bridget Gives @ 27 – donate today to help provide health insurance to the village of Ohua!

Bridget’s story

In her first 2 weeks of being 27, Bridget Boakye is fundraising $2,000 through family, friends, readers, and network in the U.S. and around the world to bring health insurance to the village of OHUA, in the Gamoa district in Ghana, for two years. She also hopes to raise awareness about Crowdfrica.org, its mission and impact, and help the team continue to broaden the reach of their work. With a $5 donation, you can help make her birthday wish of raising $2,000 and providing health insurance to the OHUA village come true.

ABOUT OHUA & IMPACT

OHUA is a small remote and isolated farming village located in the Gomoa district, central region, Ghana.  The beautiful people in the community are hard working and believe in good health and Education. Parents especially, work hard to make sure their children go to school even though most of them had no formal education.

The biggest problem Ohua is facing is access to healthcare. There is no health center in the community and the one they can visit is far away. This makes access to healthcare nearly impossible and very expensive for them and deprive a lot from seeking care when sick.

Bridget’s birthday will fund health insurance for 200 people (children and adults) which includes all junior high school children, form 1,2, 3 and a number families in OHUA for two years.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO DONATE!!!

Dentaa Amoateng MBE Honoured with Diaspora Mobilization Award

GUBA CEO and founder, Dentaa Amoateng MBE was honoured with the Exemplary Leadership in Diaspora Mobilization Award at the Ghana Homecoming Summit Committee on Saturday the 8th of July 2017.  The awards which took place at the Kempinski Hotel (Ghana), comes as an acknowledgement of Industries and individuals aiding in the provision of services and support to Ghanaians in the Diaspora.

Presenting the award was the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection – Madam Otiko Afisah Djabah. In her acceptance, Mrs Amoateng MBE called for the need for unity amongst Ghanaians:

“We need to build trust and eschew the negative tendencies which work against our interests and progress as a people. We see businesses that start well and just when everyone is hailing the success story they allow pettiness and trivial issues to destroy an otherwise successful business. We can work together to build very successful businesses here in Ghana, here in Africa. So let us seize the moment and build a better future for ourselves and the next generation.” – She adds.

In attendance was the President and First Lady of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo and Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, Vice President and Second Lady Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and Mrs Samira Bawumia, amongst various Ghanaian dignitaries.

The award was part of the Ghana Homecoming Summit Committee’s Excellence in Ghana Diaspora Mobilization Award series.

Ghana Diaspora HomeComing Summit 2017 – Day 3 Round Up

Here’s a round of what took place on day 3 of the Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit:

  • Friday was the culmination of 3 days of #GDHS17 with the theme of political inclusion for all Ghanaians at home and abroad. We had speakers such as Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Otiko Afisa Djaba & Prof. Kwaku Asare. Issues addressed included the contention around dual citizenship, the need for a dual citizenship card and what the Ghanaian constitution states. Day 3 also included representation from 2nd generation Ghanaians sharing their perspectives, experiences and advice for other 2nd generation Ghanaians eager to engage with Ghana. It also included speakers from the wider Ghanaian and African diaspora including African Americans, Nigerians and Senegalese speakers. Followed by a closing and fashion show organised by the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection.
  • After a welcome address by Jermaine Nkrumah, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway  took the stage and addressed the issues and challenges faced by Ghanaians abroad with regards to passports, fees, other consular services and customer service in Embassies in their respective nations. Training and accountability was emphasised and the Hon. Minister pledged her commitment to changing this.
  • Hon. Otiko Afisa Djaba followed with a impassioned call for all stakeholders, men and women to drive equity and gender equality in all spheres in Ghana. Hon. Djaba praised Ghanaian women in the diaspora as well as home for their innovate leadership and contributions to women in Ghana through remittances, business, housing and through numerous other channels. Whilst the Hon. Minister acknowledged great progress in terms of female participation in politics she stressed that we still have a long way to go but expressed confidence that equity can and will happen soon if we all work together towards that goal.
  • Next up was an inspiring panel of 3 2nd generation panellists – Danielli Ofori Atta, Founder & CEO of Mhoseenu (Creative Consultants), Arnold Sarfo-Kantanka, MD of Me Firi Ghana and Chair of Future of Ghana & Michael Bediako – Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance. Danielli began by sharing her desire to come back to Ghana after finishing her law degree at the University of Manchester because she wanted to change to world. She then went on to outline Mhoseenu’s mission and their 6 key principles which also served as advice for those interested in how to manage relocating to Ghana. They are:
  1. Innovation
  2. Quality control
  3. Accessibility
  4. Reliability
  5. Consistency
  6. Community
  • She called on second generation Ghanaians to be part of the #NewGhana – a lifestyle, a way of thinking, a movement.
  • Arnold discussed the ways in which second generation Ghanaians abroad can integrate into Ghanaian society, business and politics. He spoke of the vision of Me Firi Ghana and Future of Ghana – a 1st world self-sustaining Ghana, the What About Me (WAM) Campaign where 2nd generation Ghanaian volunteers from across Europe (?) volunteered over 1100 hours in Ghana and how the youth can be engaged in Ghana. He went on to discuss research in progress by FOG which showed that only 1.6% of respondents are interested in remittances and the importance of bringing evidence and data to the fore. He called for us to actively engage each other and work together to make Ghana what we know it can be.
  • Michael gave a very frank discussion about the realities of and surviving in Ghana. He told us all that in order to live in Ghana we have to embrace Ghana in its entirety not only the nicer parts of town. He also called on our duty to contribute to something bigger than ourselves and to build strong networks to help us settle in and facilitate the change we desire to see.
  • Prof. Kwaku Asare gave a highly engaging talk on plural citizenships, the ins and outs of nationality vs. citizenship, what the Ghanaian constitution says and the 27 forbidden fruits (the 27 roles and positions non-citizens of Ghana cannot assume). Key messages from his session include that the idea is plural citizenship is not unique to diasporans only but also to Ghanaians in Ghana and nationals of our bordering countries. He distinguished. Etse will nationality and citizenship, the former representing cultural parameters and the latter legal ones. He also stressed that if one has a Ghana and a UK/US passport (for example), a dual citizenship card is not required by law and no one has the right to ask for one. He highlighted the paradoxes of dual citizenship and how Ghanaians are often excluded unfairly.
  • Jermaine Nkrumah introduced us to the GDHS Summit Poll results and the ways in which registered delegates wished to engage beyond the summit (See tweets for pics). This informed the creation of the Diaspora Mobilisation Drive slated to eventually become an independent agency aimed at fulfilling the mandate and policies relating to the diaspora in collaboration with the government. (see tweets for pics of the structure).
  • The remaining speakers from the Nigerian, Senegalese and the African American diaspora shared their experiences and sentiments towards a cohesive global diaspora movement for the benefit of Ghana and Africa as a whole.

Questions of the day:

  • Does Ghana have the capacity to support a female president one day?
  • Why can we not increase the term of a Ghanaian passport from 5 years to 10 years?
  • Will African Americans ever be considered as diasporans to come back home?
  • If you’re an American citizen & you want your American born children to have dual citizenship, how do we do it?
  • There’s a lot of talent in Ghana but also a lot of reproduction. How is the government addressing this?
  • We don’t discuss the failures and downsides of those who have moved backed and left again. What about them?
  • How can we tackle the negative reactions sometimes from our parents who do not want us to move back?
  • A lot of want us as 2nd Gen want to actually work in Ghana how do we do so without a network?
  • What are the mental, psychological and other barriers faced when moving back to Ghana?
  • What can the government do to engage those who do not want to return?
  • What are we doing to stop sexual harassment in the workplace in Ghana?
  • Do my children have to continue to pay expensive visa fees to visit Ghana?
  • Why can we not increase the term of a Ghanaian passport from 5 years to 10 years?
  • Why do passport and other consular fees vary so much from country to country in Europe (Netherlands vs. Germany)?
  • Is there an easier way for Ghanaians abroad to register online esp. when missions are far away? (Eg in Scandinavia)
  • Is there an input from government on the prices Ghanaian goods are sold for abroad?
  • If we have free education why are so many of our girls on the street? In Abidjan for example we don’t see this.
  • We’ve heard about why to move back but what about the how? How do we connect?

Ghana Diaspora HomeComing Summit 2017 – Day 2 Round Up

Here’s a round of what took place on day two of the Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit:

  • The theme was the Human Resource Marketplace and addressed wide ranging issues from converting the ‘brain drain’ to ‘brain gain’, how tertiary institutions and industry can collaborate to reduce the skills gap, how institutions such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have been mobilising diaspora groups in Ghana for over 30 years and addressing how we can develop a more productive and efficient work ethic.
  • After Mr. Alex Dadey, Chairman of the Summit Planning Committee, made a brief address to the audience and recapped an overview of Day 1’s activities Hon. Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry gave a strong call to action calling on diasporans to not just point out challenges but to also be part of the solution in an active and impactful way. Drawing on his own experiences in the Diaspora he called on the diaspora to be realistic, manage expectations and to use the same level of resilience used to survive in their new host countries in Ghana. He also shared several points which he called Home Truths to encourage the diaspora to engage differently in order to bring cohesion and more collaborative partnerships with Ghanaian locals.
  • Hon. Ignatius Bafuor Awuah MP, Minister for Employment and Labour Relations followed, giving an overview of Ghanaian employment statistics (youth employment is estimated at 12-24%) and the experiences of Ghanaians abroad, particularly in the Gulf and called for Ghanaians to contribute to the national economy where protections and regulations seek to safeguard its workers.
  • Princess Naa Ocansey, MD of SOS Labour Ghana Limited began with a rousing call for diasporans to come home saying as “Uncle Sam needs Americans, Uncle Nana Addo needs you!” She encouraged and promoted the idea of circular legal migration which involves working in Ghana for short periods of time (e.g. 6 weeks, 6 months or even a year) and returning to host country. Deemed a “triple win” with host, home and the diasporan in question benefitting from circular migration, Princess Naa announced the development of a Diasporan National Service which SOS Labour Ghana Ltd, amongst others are developing. Key to its creation was the idea that second generation diasporans are often not involved or included and do not have the same networks or connections as their parents.
  • Sylvia Lopez-Ekra of IOM Ghana discussed the Connecting the Diaspora for Development (CD4D) programme which is aimed at harnessing skills transfer in many countries including Ghana through its diaspora, particularly in the agriculture and health sector. Ms. Lopez-Ekra also mentioned that Ghana remains a strong example of diaspora engagement and is regularly used as a reference point for the diaspora agenda. It was also emphasised that more needs to be done to integrate second-generation Ghanaians abroad who may not have citizenship but are doing wonderful things to celebrate the name of Ghana.
  • Ms. Josephine Nkrumah, Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education called on us to not conform to the systems that do not work but to bring change to Ghana. Ms. Nkrumah focused on the need to move from an unproductive work ethic common in Ghana to one of discipline, accountability, integrity and excellence.
  • Mrs. Ellen Hagan, MD of L’AINE focused on bridging the skills gap of youth relative to universities and industry. She called on us to be innovative and to have an entrepreneurial mind to identify gaps and assess whether these gaps can be converted into an opportunity to grow and create employment and build skills.
  • Mr. George Asomaning introduced us all to DENI – Direct Expatriate Nationals Investment, a financial instrument which allows all Ghanaians regardless of location to invest. There is no minimum investment and similar to other stocks and financial products pays a dividend based on performance. He encouraged all of us to get involved as it launches. (Date not given)
  • Mr. Hayford Atta-Krufi, CEO of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) discussed the eligibility and security for all diasporans in terms of retirement schemes and pensions. He highlighted that it is very simple to transfer pensions from abroad to Ghana (a formal letter to the NPRA has to be written to begin to process) and is working with the Diaspora Relations Office to make this information more readily available.
  • Dr. Thomas Mensah, a pioneer in fibre optic technology joined us via live stream and presented on new plans for infrastructure projects including Kumasi Airport and a new railway system.
  • A new Diaspora Engagement Policy is being drafted and under consultation but will be launched soon. (Date not given)
  • After workshops on the Diaspora Investment Experience, Technical Capacity Building of Entrepreneurs, Practical Application of DENI and Entry into the Oil & Gas Sector. A presentation on the Marine Drive Investment project slated to change the landscape of Accra through tourism was given by the Office of Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture. 
  • Wogbejeke, a theatre production by the Bambu Centre tracing the history of Ghana from pre-colonial times until now gave a performance.
Audience questions (asked throughout the day)
  • How does the government intend to involve and empower the voices of those who are are not rich and are not elite in the Diaspora?
  • How is the Diaspora National Service programme being created? Who is being consulted?
  • Does age impact if you can work in government?
  • Why do non-Ghanaian expatriates receive better salary, packages and are generally more valued than Ghanaians from abroad with similar or more qualifications?
  • How feasible will the economies of the factories in the ODOF policy be?
  • What kind of support is being given to technology companies who want to support the ODOF policy?
  • How is the Diaspora being defined?
  • What diplomatic repercussions have their been for governments in the Gulf where Ghanaians are maltreated?
  • How can tertiary institutions and industry bridge the skills gap?
  • What is being done to change the ‘poor’ Ghanaian work ethic that was spoken about?
  • Why are foreign institutions such as NASA tell us as Ghanaians what is and isn’t possible?
  • If we move towards big tourism projects are we destroying local value and moving people from their homes?
  • If you’re investing into tourism, how are you attracting people to actually come and visit Ghana?

Ghana Diaspora HomeComing Summit 2017 – Day 1 Round Up

The Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit is a conference organized by the government of Ghana to establish relationships with the diaspora community.  The summit which started yesterday aims to harness capital for development purposes by encouraging Ghanaians abroad to invest in Ghana.

Below is a highlight of what took place yesterday:

  • Yesterday’s agenda was an entrepreneurial Ghana and focused on its economic transformation and the role the diaspora plays in that. From talks from Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance to Mr Yofi Grant of GIPC, there was a strong focus on the financial opportunities Ghana presents and the already established financial contribution of diasporans (through remittances which according to Mr Grant are greater than foreign direct investment (FDI)).
  • After the national anthem and an opening prayer, Mr. Alex Dadey, Chairman of the Summit Planning Committee ushered in Day 1 of the Summit by welcoming guests and emphasising the human and financial capital the diaspora brings along with experience and exposure to different ideas and perspectives. 
  • Mr. Dadey also made several humble requests of H.E. President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo in his welcome address. This included reviewing laws and policies which restrict diaspora participation and inclusion including ROPAA. He also asked that the GDHS become institutionalised allowing for a more frequent and fruitful dialogue.
  • Tuga performed the #GDHS17’s theme song live
  • H.E. President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo emphasised the importance he places on the diaspora and their full inclusion to move Ghana forward. He also highlighted that the accountability of his government extends to Ghanaians overseas as well as those in country and that the Diaspora Relations Office will be crucial in facilitating this. He then stressed the importance of all Ghanaians having a stake in the country’s development in order to move the country beyond aid.
  • A number of talks addressed some of the realities of doing business in Ghana, the opportunities, challenges, bottlenecks, public-private partnerships (PPPs), frameworks and policy. Speakers included Mr. Djabarnor Narh, partner at EY Ghana and Mr. David Ofosu-Dortey of AB & David
  • Rahul Gopinath of ECOM Agrotrade Ltd spoke about the changing face of entrepreneurship in Ghana and what that looks like today. According to Rahul, Ghanaian entrepreneurs needs 4 things: knowledge, mentor-ship, capital and enabling government policy.
  • Mr. Phillip Sowah spoke about institutional frameworks bring used to drive growth in capital markets and highlighted the key need to truly understand how much money Ghanaians abroad send and for what reasons. He argued that once we understand who, what and why, then financial instruments and other enabling policies can be designed to truly fit the diaspora’s needs.
  • Mr Yofi Grant – Ghana’s GDP growth is estimated at 7%+ next year.
  • GIPC has created a digital map highlighting the business opportunities across the 10 regions which will go online soon (no date given but shown in the PPT).
  • A study by EY shows that Ghana is ranked 4th for doing business in Africa and 1st in West Africa but the government intends on doing enacting business reforms including making processes digital. The aim is make Ghana the most business friendly place in Africa.
  • Hon. Alan Kyeremateng addressed the delegation honing in on remarks made earlier in the day by Hon. Ken Ofori Atta (amongst other speakers) about moving Ghana from a taxation economy to a production economy and spoke about moving Ghana from a economy exporting raw materials to creating production lines to increase the value of our exports substantially. He spoke specifically of steel and iron which would strengthen the construction industry and increase our competitiveness.
  • As Ghana has a think export base, the government intends to address that through industrialisation looking to China as an example.
  • Lots of interesting questions from the audience including the perceived hostility from Ghanaian nationals to those from abroad, the capacity of the energy sector, creating more efficiency at the ports, lack of information sharing and clear channels to learn more about opportunities in Ghana.
  • Government is keen to build a comprehensive database to understand where diasporans are located, their skills sets and how they can be utilised fruitfully.

Mefiri Ghana will keep you updated on the rest of the conference