In recent years, there has been increased recognition of the potential of migration in stimulating development in countries of origin. Migrants living in diaspora can contribute greatly to the development of their countries of origin in many ways; through remittances, diaspora entrepreneurship, transfer of skills and knowledge as well as competencies, which can have a positive impact on the national economic growth. Research suggests that diaspora identity is characterized by a transnational sense of belonging with attachment and commitment to both the homeland and the country of residence. This panel discussion proposes to explore what drives diaspora members’ generosity and passion for their countries of origin, how belonging is nurtured across continents and generations and what “giving back” looks like in practice.
Patrick Awuah is the founder and president of Ashesi University, a private, notfor-profit institution praised as one of Ghana’s finest institutions of higher learning. Patrick left Ghana to study in the United States of America in 1985. While abroad, he worked as a Program Manager for Microsoft. After living in America for almost two decades, he returned to Ghana in 2001. In recognition of his service to Ghana, Patrick was awarded Membership of the Order of the Volta in July 2007. The Order of the Volta is one of Ghana’s highest awards, given to individuals who exemplify the ideal of service to the country. He has won many prestigious international awards including the MacArthur Fellowship and the McNulty Prize. In 2015, Patrick was named one the 50 greatest leaders in the world by Fortune Magazine. He has also twice been recognized by a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of Ghanaian CEOs as one of the ten most respected CEOs in Ghana.
Christabel E. Dadzie
Christabel Dadzie works as a Program Specialist in the Social Protection and Labor Global Practice at the World Bank Group. Prior to joining the Bank, she has worked with for USAID and within the UN system. In 2011, Christabel, founded Ahaspora Young Professionals (Ahaspora – “Aha” is a Twi (Akan) word for “Here” and “Spora” is a stem of Diaspora.), a group of young, Ghanaian professionals who have lived or been educated outside Ghana and have returned home to make a difference. Ahaspora now counts over 1200 members, who have pledged to use their knowledge, skills, and resources to give back to their Motherland Ghana. http://www.ahaspora.com/
Arnold Sarfo-Kantanka is an entrepreneur and youth advocate. He is Chair of the Future of Ghana project and founder of multiple award winning company Me firi Ghana & sister charity WAM Campaign. In 2010, Arnold who was born, raised and lives in the UK, launched the WAM (“What About Me?) campaign, which connects young Ghanaians in the diaspora to selected grassroots organizations in Ghana. The objective of the WAM Campaign is to support the educational development of children and young people through diaspora volunteering. Arnold’s other pioneering initiative, The Future of Ghana is an annual project dedicated to showcasing, nurturing and mobilizing Ghana’s talent in Ghana and abroad for the development of the country. The impact of Arnold’s work has permitted him to represent Ghana during the 2013 World Economic Forum and speak on platforms such as TEDx SOAS. Arnold was invited to Buckingham Palace to meet HRH The Queen of England and Prince Charles for his contributions to the Ghanaian community.
Kobina Graham Kobina
Graham is a lecturer, writer, blogger, and DJ on Ghana’s growing arts scene. Born in London and raised between there and Cape Coast, he is a University of London School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS) graduate. As a DJ, he was part of London’s Amplified collective, with whom he supported artists like Erykah Badu. Moving from London to Accra a decade ago, Kobby has since experienced everything from being a security expert and heading a market research department, to being a journalist with Ghana’s biggest media group and becoming one of the first people paid by the Ghanaian government to work in social media. Deeply passionate about popular culture, counter culture, and writing, he currently teaches Africana, communication and critical thinking courses at Ashesi University. He is also co-editor of nKENTEn – an experimental online magazine that exists at the intersection of Ghanaian popular culture and politics – and the former editor of DUST: a pioneering Ghanaian magazine that combined creativity with social awareness-raising content.
10.00 – Start Opening and welcome remarks by Ambassador Leslie Kojo Christian, Chief Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration (MFARI)
Statement by Ms. Sylvia Lopez-Ekra, Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration
Video Presentation on IOM’s Migration for Development in Africa (MIDA) and Temporary Return of Qualified Nationals (TRQN) Programmes, Daniel Sam – IOM
Video Presentations by panel members: Patrick Awuah Arnold Sarfo-Kantanka (by Skype from the United Kingdom) Christabel E. Dadzie Kobina Graham
13.00 – Closing and light lunch