Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo has launched the seven pillars of the ” Beyond the Return ” initiative, which is aimed at consolidating the gains of the “Year of Return.”
He said the seven pillars seeks to harness the expertise of Africans across the globe to transform the continent and provide a welcoming business environment for direct investment into the economy.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said the 10-year plan, under the theme, “A Decade of Renaissance – 2020-2030” is being rolled out to encourage investment to help improve the country’s heritage infrastructure.
“The seven pillars include; experiencing Ghana, invest in Ghana, diaspora pathways to Ghana, celebrate Ghana, brand Ghana, give back to Ghana, promote pan African heritage and innovation.
He said over the next decade, the initiative would showcase the country’s investment potentials and solidify diaspora engagement programmes to promote the African Renaissance.
The seven pillars would also harness the expertise of Africans across the globe to transform the continent and provide a welcoming business environment for direct investment into the economy.
Mr Maafo said Africans in the diaspora comprise of professionals with the right skills and keen to make contributions to the economic development of Africa continent.
He urged the steering committee, stakeholders and Ghanaians to put in much effort to attract the best pool of talent from people in the diaspora with African descent to return and contribute their skills, knowledge and wealth towards the development of Ghana.
The Senior Minister called on the media to help portray Ghana as a place for investment, progress and prosperity and not a place the youth flee to seek greener pastures in Europe.
Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the ‘Beyond the Return’ Initiative, seeks to build on the competitive edge in attracting and building a mutual relationship with the African diaspora community.
It was also an opportunity to allow for cross-fertilisation of ideas, policy directions and implementation of strategies to make Ghana more attractive as the destination for tourism, trade and investment on the African continent, especially for the African diaspora community.
“The African diaspora community who dream of returning to Africa and having a home here on the continent are confronted with the uncertainty of which African country they could call ‘Home’, and this sad reality had not stopped Ghana from showing leadership in positioning the country as the Homeland for returning diasporans.”
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said the very premise of this initiative was to create a mutually beneficial co-operation with the African diaspora community.
“Globalisation has brought competition for skills, finances and other resources for development. To easily harness the human capacity, financial power and the economic resources of the African diaspora, it has become necessary to remove counter-productive immigration rules that work against our brothers and sisters who wish to return home and contribute to the development of the continent.”
She noted that to this effect, Ghana was developing a Homeland Return legislation to facilitate various forms of migration and integration into the country to be enacted into law.
This would take away the discrimination meted to Africans in the diaspora, she said.
“Ghana as the leader of Pan-Africanism through the Homeland Return Act, will offer the opportunity for citizenship to our brothers and sisters.
They will be embraced for the positive values they embody and there will be equal and full opportunity for them to contribute to all aspects of civic and political life, to the ultimate benefit of the country and our diaspora citizens.
The sector Minister said each of the 7 pillars being unveiled, touches on the many areas that were key to developing Ghana and providing an environment that supports the diaspora, saying in developing the pillars for the “Beyond the Return”, we took into consideration the many questions, concerns, and feedback we received from the diaspora and local communities during and after the “Year of Return”.
“Africa is the future and building it will be a collaborative effort between continental Africans and the historical diaspora.
Together, we can shape the future and revitalize our continent into the greatness it was destined for. Through establishing business opportunities, celebrating culture, learning our history and heritage, providing innovations, giving back to our local community… we rise and change the narrative of Africa.”