Tag: Mr. Alex Dadey


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