Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, says the government is accelerating the development of the Diaspora Engagement Policy in order to harness the diaspora’s human and material resources for socioeconomic transformation.
When implemented, the Policy, she said, would allow for the leveraging of investment benefits and privileges through strategies that encouraged diaspora foreign direct investment into the country.
This was stated by Ms Botchwey in a speech read on her behalf by her deputy, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, at this year’s International Migrations Day (IMD) celebration in Accra on Friday, December 16, 2022.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Ghana organized the event on the theme “Migration for the Benefit of All” in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) Network on Migration and the Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President.
Every year on December 18th, International Migrant Day is observed to highlight the contributions and challenges of the over 280 million international migrants who account for approximately 3.6% of the global population.
Ms Botchwey stated that the Ministry had been working with the Diaspora Affairs Office, the Office of the President, and the IOM to finalize arrangements for submitting the policy to cabinet, and that “we look forward to the policy coming to light in the coming months.”
According to Fataou Diallo Ndiaye, Chief of Mission, IOM Ghana, diasporans can promote trade and foreign direct investment, establish businesses, encourage entrepreneurship, and transfer new knowledge and skills, in addition to their well-known role as remittance senders.
She explained that the celebration was centered on highlighting the diaspora’s contribution to sustainable development.
Ms Ndiaye stated that the government’s focus on the diaspora was deeply aligned with IOM Ghana’s interest in supporting the Ghanaian diaspora.
She stated that it was for this reason that the IOM recently provided technical assistance for the development of the draft Diaspora Engagement Policy and collaborated with the government to facilitate the assignment of over 259 diaspora experts in the areas of health, education, food security, and ICT through its Connecting the Diaspora for Development project.
She took advantage of the opportunity to reaffirm IOM and the UN Network on Migration’s commitment to continuing to assist the government in harnessing the development potential inherent in migration and in fulfilling its commitments as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.
The EU, according to Anna Lixi, Head of Governance Sector, EU Delegation to Ghana, believes in strong partnerships to manage migration in a safe, orderly, and regular manner.
She stated that it was for this reason that the EU had been providing technical assistance for the development of the draft Diaspora Engagement Policy, and that it was also committed to efforts aimed at facilitating diaspora investment by increasing green employment and enterprise opportunities in the country.
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