Tag: immigration


Brexit: the economic impact on Ghana

Brexit is simply, British exit or pull out from the European Union (EU). David Cameron on his campaign for a second term in office promised the electorate that he would initiate a national referendum to determine whether Britain still wanted to be in the EU or leave. Many felt it was a mistake to make such promise since he himself was in favour of EU. A national referendum was called and to Cameron’s disbelief, the British public voted to pull out of the EU. The Prime Minister who was pro-EU has promised to resign in October.

ghana-and-uk-300x290The decision to exit from the EU will impact seriously on the British economy. The result of the referendum has given rise to uncertainty among investors. The world markets reacted sharply with a downward surge. The Asian equity markets also fell. It is too early to predict its impact on the global economy. African countries, especially those in the Commonwealth, will definitely feel the impact on their economies. This article seeks to discuss the economic impact Brexit will have on Ghana.

There are long standing economic ties between Ghana and Britain. Ghana’s Foreign Affairs

Mrs Hanna Tetteh

Mrs Hanna Tetteh

Minister Mrs Hanna Tetteh has affirmed that the pullout of Britain from the EU will affect Ghana in many different ways, including trade with the United Kingdom. The main reason for this is that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the United Kingdom would shrink over time, and the economy of UK would become weaker and smaller. Secondly, the British economy would scale back its investment in development projects in Ghana and, of course, in other African countries. Britain is going to be tough with immigration procedures and visa applications for Ghanaians because the population of Ghanaians in the UK is close to half a million.

Britain has been in the EU for more than forty years and her decision to exit after a historic referendum, it is feared, will trigger a domino effect among member countries. Should this happen, the implication and the economic impact on Ghana and other African countries would be significant. Britain would no longer offer full access to traders and investors from Ghana and other Commonwealth countries since the business environment is feared to shrink because in much the same way, Britain will no longer have full access to the lucrative EU market. When this happens, Ghana would have to renegotiate trade and bilateral agreement with UK. Ghana is currently UK’s fifth largest trading partner in Africa with trade between the two countries reaching £1.3billion. Will this continue after Brexit?

gheuGhana’s trade agreement between them and the EU are often negotiated by the European Commission. Ghana has been reaping the benefit of trade, deep integration and socio-economic cooperation with Britain and EU as a whole. With British exit from the EU, Ghana’s trade relations with Britain and the EU will seriously be punctured.  Ghana will have to wait patiently and observe closely what goes on in the EU. It is less likely that the union will disintegrate after Brexit. Ghana will then have to wait and join other African countries in their trade and business negotiations with the European Union and Britain.

It is predicted that there may be attempts by the countries that constitute Britain to disagree with or defy the secessionist move by Britain from the EU. Already Scotland voted in favour of EU membership. Scotland will, therefore, want to maintain their membership.

Many people are complaining that they did not understand all the reasons for the pull out. One student confessed that he took the whole referendum as a joke and voted for the pull-out only to regret later when the reality dawned on him that Britain will no longer be part of the European Union. This student is not the only one who has regretted. Some youth leaders, it is rumoured, are collecting 10,000 signatures to fight against the pull-out. No one can predict whether the entire Britain will regret the pull-out and go back to the EU. Will Brexit finally become Briregret or Regrexit?

There are several reasons that were advanced previously and for so many years by intellectually-_90076860_thinkstockphotos-526561176minded British in favour of a pull-out. Some of the argument put forward was that British sovereignty was being threatened and compromised by EU. Former London Mayor, Boris Johnson and Justice Minister, Michael Gove are of the view that for many decades, the EU has reduced and shifted the amount of growing powers of individual membership states to the EU bureaucracy in Brussels. The two British politicians are also of the view that EU is strangling the UK with rules which they found burdensome.

There are several reasons and arguments for Britain to take a historic decision to leave the union but the reasons are not the main focus of this article. The following argument relates directly to what Ghanaians are likely to experience. The British put forth an argument that they will leave the EU because they will need a rational immigration policy outside the EU. The EU rule requires all member states including Britain to admit all EU citizens to settle in their respective countries whether they have jobs or not, no special skills or no proficiency in the language. Britain is dissatisfied and can no longer tolerate the influx of EU citizens to UK especially those from the newly admitted countries in Eastern Europe.

Seth Terkper

Seth Terkper

Mr. Seth Terkper, Ghana’s Finance minister, has affirmed that Ghana is considering emerging markets for its $750,000 bond. He continued that with Ghana’s experience in the core matured market, the exit of Britain from the EU will severely affect the American and European bond markets. Hence a time is coming when Ghana will have to study other markets to maximize Ghana’s output. The news of Brexit caused a fall in the Asian equity markets and this was largely due to the uncertainty about the impact on the world economy. To where will Ghana turn then?

As Britain’s economy looms large in Europe, all hands of Ghanaian economists and politicians must be on deck to predict or decide when it will be appropriate to hold talks with Britain concerning bilateral trade agreement. We should not forget to do same with the European Union.

By Stephen Atta Owusu

The Wives We Leave in Ghana, Na Wow!

couple getting divorcedGhanaians abroad are often confronted with diverse problems. Chief among these are their inability to procure resident permits or jobs which would enable them to bring their wives from Ghana to join them. There are some men who also fear that when they bring their wives abroad, these women will learn the ways of the “white woman” and abandon them. Whatever the reasons, not all the women left behind can hold out until their husbands come home, sometimes after several years. It is easy to fall into temptation. Some of these may result in pregnancies which are given to unsuspecting husbands who return home and sleep with them. Indeed many men are fathering children that are not theirs. These, among other things, are what the article is going to talk about. I will also talk about my own personal experience.

 

Joshua lived in Kumasi with his wife, Esther. They both had a child each from former relationships. Joshua, a hardworking tailor, took both children as his own and cared for them. He lived in a single room with wife and both children.

Joshua had a very good friend from childhood who helped him to secure a UK visa when he added his name to a business delegation visiting London.

Joshua overstayed his three-month visa, worked hard at several menial jobs and saved enough to “buy” a residence and work permit by marrying a Ghanaian lady with a UK passport. It cost him £12,000!!!

He called his wife and told her of the good news and promised her that she would soon join him in London. Since he had saved enough money he decided to have his own house in Ghana. She sent money to the wife to buy a double plot. An architectural design of twin buildings was drawn for him and he sent it to his wife. Work was finished on the project within two years.

 

Strangely enough Esther called Joshua and told him that she was no longer interested in the marriage because she had waited for so long. She added that if he got anyone in London he could go ahead and marry her. Joshua then ordered her to leave his house. But the woman told him that he did not have any house in Ghana.

He rushed to Ghana for the first time after living in London for seven years. The first thing he did on his arrival in Ghana was to consult a lawyer. He explained the whole problem to the lawyer. The lawyer explained to him that if he could prove by receipts and documents that he, indeed, sent all the money for the buildings the court would revoke her ownership of the houses and give them to him. But Joshua had no such documentary proof of the remittances he had made. The lawyer advised him to go and plead with the lady to give him one of the houses.

 

He took the lawyer’s advice, went home and selected three elderly members of his family and an old friend. They went to meet Grounds-of-divorce12Esther and her family members. No matter what Joshua and his people said Esther refused to give any house to Joshua.

They rose up to go. Esther and her people followed them and hooted at them. Joshua’s friend who accompanied him hurled his elbow swiftly behind. His elbow landed accidentally on the left jaw of Esther’s mother. She fell flat on her back and died on the spot. They ran to board the car but Joshua knelt before the dead woman and asked an onlooker to find him a taxi. The police arrived and arrested Joshua. To cut a long story short he was given a seven years sentence and imprisonment for bringing in the man who caused the death of the woman. As I write, he has already spent four years in jail.

 

What Joshua went through is very similar to what I am going through right now. I married a Ghanaian woman in 2003 after circumstances purely beyond my control led to a divorce between me and my Finnish wife with whom I have four children. When I came back to Ghana I met a lady who was introduced to me by a close friend. I married her but not long after her real intention for getting married to me began to come out. I lived abroad and I had a school in Kumasi. I placed my wife in charge of the kitchen. For most of the time, she extended her authority beyond the kitchen, stepping on the toes of teachers, head-teachers and even the board, anytime I travelled. It was my intention to bring her to join me in Europe. I returned to Ghana a year later. The head-teacher complained that my wife showed no respect to both parents and teachers. She was even insolent to members of the school board. The school suffered because of her attitude. Many parents withdrew their children. They could not take the insults from my wife.

 

I used part of the proceeds to buy a house and another plot. It was my intention to give the house to my four children and build another house for my wife. I could not complete the transfer of ownership forms with the landlord when it was time for me to go back to Europe. I gave my passport-size pictures to the landlord and asked him to complete the forms and I would append my signature when I returned from Europe. He did so and left them with a close friend of mine. I told my wife to collect the forms and keep them until I come.

 

I returned to Ghana to discover to my utmost surprise that my wife had changed the documents of the house into her name. She sold my cars; a MB van and a Nissan Pathfinder.

104370352_divorce_282607cShe sold the plot too and collapsed the business I opened for her. She got back the GHC8000 goodwill I paid for the shop space by giving the shop to another businesswoman. With all these monies in hand she was able to bribe her way through the Lands Department and succeeded in transferring my landed property into her name. She then finalized the deal with a lease-hold from the office of the Ashanti Stool Land Registry. This was how she decided to bring to an end all the achievements I made for the past three and a half decades spent living abroad.

 

Many well-wishers and sympathisers have suggested several ways of dealing with this woman. Some said I should divorce her. Others also said I should end her life by any means necessary. But I am a Christian. There is this group which also suggests that I choose the legal option to retrieve my property.

You as a reader may also have other suggestions. What do you say?

By  Stephen Atta Owusu

Article taken from here