The Ghanaian Diaspora Celebration and Homecoming Summit is quickly approaching. Set to take place on 3rd– 6th July 2019 at the Accra International Conference Centre, it’s an event that provides a platform and encourages Ghanaians living in the diaspora to come back home and invest their talent, skills and knowledge in Ghana. The Diaspora Affairs Office in the Office of the President has been tasked with the responsibility of this event as a biennial event. The previous event was in 2017 where over 2000 delegates were in attendance. Expectations are to attract an even larger audience with increased activities in Ghana this year because of ‘Year of return’.
The official launch of the upcoming event took place on 30th April at the Accra Marriott Hotel. Stakeholders were invited to the launch and members of the diaspora were able to participate in a Q&A session with key people. The underlying theme of this event is, “Recognizing Diaspora Contributions to Nation Building” Leading up to the event there have been a number of roadshows where members of the team have travelled through the U.K., Europe and Canada to reach out to people in the diaspora and engage them on the opportunities in Ghana.
Mr. Akwasi Ababio is the Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President and he strongly believes in the potential that people in the diaspora have to offer Ghana. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information and MP Ofoase/Ayirebi also spoke a similar sentiment at the launch event. He said the contributions of people from the diaspora can improve quality of life in Ghana while creating jobs for the youth. “This contribution [of the diaspora] could range from technical expertise in key sectors…” At the same time, young people interested in moving to Ghana have expressed concerns. One young woman from the U.K. asked what type of job opportunities exists for returnees and would salary be competitive? Her concern is one that many have when relocating to Ghana.
Although the event has its roots in attracting people in the Ghanaian diaspora, it’s open to anyone of African descent with an interest in Ghana. The Ghanaian diaspora is a global community not limited to one region. That was spoken of during the Q&A session when one man spoke about being from Belgium and the importance of recognizing that there are diasporans living in every corner of the world who also have a vested interest in the country. He was assured that engagement with several communities was well underway. Through the various Roadshows, the Diaspora Affairs Office has connected with people in different countries.
The launch event was a prelude to what you can expect from the upcoming summit. Everyone there was networking, sharing and exchanging ideas and sparking new friendships. There were visitors from Canada, the U.S., Belgium and the U.K., all excited about what Ghana has in store as well as looking forward to the event. The 4-day Summit is expected to attract 3000 attendees from around the world.
The conference will include a keynote address from President of Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo and the Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia. Other ministers of state are expected to be in attendance along with key players in the private sector. Some of the speakers confirmed include Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Ghana, Felicia Twumasi, Founder & CEO Homefoods Processing and Cannery Limited, Nora Bannerman, CEO, Sleek Garments Export Ltd & Board Member of GIPC (Ghana Investment Promotion Centre), Bennard Owusu, Senior Partner, BWF Solicitors, London, and Akwasi Awua-Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President and Chairman of Year of Return Steering Committee.
The final night will close the 4-day conference with a Gala event at Movenpick Ambassador Hotel. It promises to be an eventful evening with additional opportunities to interact and network with key people within industry and government. Gala tickets are available online at www.gdhsgala.eventbrite.co.uk. You can also contact via phone for more details on +233244 130 106 or by email on [email protected]. Visit the website on www.myghanadiaspora.comfor more info.