Tag: Danielli Ofori Atta


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?