Thirty five diasporean Ghanaians in current Government – President Akufo-Addo

by Kwabena Opong, Accra

Ghanaians in the Diaspora met at the Accra International Conference Center on Wednesday, July 5 for their three-day annual Homecoming Summit themed “Development and Opportunity.” In his keynote address, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo acknowledged the contribution of the Ghanaian Diaspora to the economy. He explained the reason he made it a point to visit the Diaspora during the campaigns in 2016 in spite of the opposition he met. He posited, “I consider the contributions of the Diaspora to be important in the developmental process of the country.” President Akufo-Addo stated that his government was working with the Diasporean Ghanaians to join him and participate in the growth process he has embarked on. He reiterated that the he inherited a poor economy saddled with a high debt-to-GDP ratio, erratic power supply, among several failures. Nana Addo said his government has embarked on agriculture, industrialization and a monetary program as the pillars of his policy to building a sound economy. The president also promised the Diaspora that his government was committed to the implementation of the Representation of the Peoples Act Law (ROPAL), and assured them that they are reviewing the dual citizenship law and its effects on overseas Ghanaians.

The president said that he has appointed some 35 overseas Ghanaians to serve with him in government, the highest by any government. He emphasized the high esteem he has for overseas Ghanaians and said that informed his decision to move the Diaspora affairs office from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to the presidency. The Director of the Diaspora Relations Office is Mr. Akwasi Awua Ababio, a former Diasporean with Nadia Adongo Musah as his deputy.

The afternoon question and answer session was addressed by Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta, and two other officials. Mr. Ofori Atta enjoined the Diasporeans to think of coming home to join government in its efforts to reform the Ghanaian economy.

He spoke about the steps the government is taking to reclaim confidence in the Ghanaian economy. Since January the government has made some progress in minimizing corruption and to ensure fiscal policy credibility. Public sector accountability and the minimization of public sector leakages, especially at the ports, are also being implemented. He said that the government’s measure to ensure a debt profile restructure is also on course. All of those measures have enhanced the credit rating of Ghana. The negative Fitch rat- ing is now positive.

The measures to bring sanity to the economy of the country led to Ghana’s invitation to the G20 meeting which led to a 100 million euro grant by Germany and a subsequent $15 billion compact with the Peoples Republic of China. He reiterated the President’s recognition of the Diaspora as the source of $3 billion remittances in 2016 alone. He announced the raising of a Diaspora Bonds. “The potential for the success for the Diasporean Bonds is enormous.” He added that the President “has truly recast the direction of the economy.” Real GDP is growing at 6.6 percent as of May. Inflation rates have fallen by 30 percent basis points, 22 1⁄2 percent from 25 percent. All of these improvements, notwithstanding, the specter of a huge debt stock still remains, the minister concluded.

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Posted by on Jul 12 2017. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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