For almost four years, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as president of the Republic of Ghana, has demonstrated in every measure his commitment to engage Ghanaians, and to a larger extent Africans, living abroad to contribute to all spheres of nation-building and ensure prosperity for every Ghanaian. Right from the onset of his administration in 2017, an office for diaspora affairs was set up directly under the Office of the President – first of its kind in Ghana.
This office, ably directed by Mr Akwasi Awua Ababio who was once with us in the diaspora, has been an important vehicle to attract talents and investments from the diaspora for the development of diverse areas of Ghana's economy. Thus, allowing for every Ghanaian, and to a large extent, Africans living abroad to actively participate in the development agenda of the country. Indeed, over fifty Ghanaians from the diaspora are currently serving in various government agencies and boards, contributing immensely to all facets of the economy. This strongly proves the commitment of a president and leader who, over the years, has and continues to mobilize the best of Ghanaians and people of Ghanaian descent - regardless of age, gender, religion, tribe or geographical location in a concerted effort to create a country with a high standard of living and equal opportunities for all.
Last year, the world witnessed one of the monumental events to ever grace the shores of Ghana and Africa; the Year of Return. This year-long campaign hosted numerous activities that brought together people of African descendant in the diaspora to reconnect with their roots. Commemorating the 400th year anniversary of the first slaves landing in the US, Ghana - an important transit point for transporting the slaves - offered herself as the ancestral home of all slaves and descendants of former slaves outside the African continent. Besides putting Ghana up for global attention, a whopping $1.9bn was reported to have been injected into the Ghanaian economy that year. The implications of these for the ordinary Ghanaian in their ability to access potable water, enjoy stable power supply, good road network and other essential government services alike cannot be overemphasized. Surely, it only takes a visionary and competent government under the excellent leadership of the President to leverage such opportunities that positively affect the life of the ordinary Ghanaian.
As famously espoused by Mahatma Gandhi: “A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members”. This famous quote provides a reflection of all pro-poor policies championed by the president and his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Giant amongst them is the introduction of the Free Senior High School education that gives access to every Ghanaian child, regardless of their economic background, to attain a minimum of high school education. This key policy decision has brought huge financial relief to parents and households who struggled to put their wards through school. Not forgetting us in the diaspora, who serve as guardians to most family members back home. This and the many other pro-poor interventions, including the continued absorption of electricity and water bills for lifeline users, have provided some financial space and muscle for us in the diaspora to now invest equally in other vital aspects of our lives, those of our family back home and the country we so much love. Our enormous gratitude goes to the president, his government and party for such bold initiatives and in keeping their promises to Ghanaians even when the antagonisms were loudest.
Last but not least, the efficient and smooth operations of the various missions in the diaspora cannot be overlooked. Besides the shortening of visa and processing times by over 70%, the cost of a new passport has been reduced from 200 euros to 120 euros for a standard biometric passport in Europe. This 40% reduction in passport fees coupled with smooth and quick delivery of services and responses to complaints have not only eased the financial burden on most Ghanaians who wish to obtain or renew a passport but has made Ghana the envy of many African countries. Additionally, the validity for a passport which was ten years some years ago, but was reduced to five years under the NDC administration has been reverted to ten years. This provides extra relief for Ghanaians home and abroad who are going to save money and time when acquiring a passport.
Overall, the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has proven to provide better solutions to the nation's challenges, implemented more robust policies which have benefited the majority of Ghanaians home and abroad. As the country heads to the polls on December 7, we urge all Ghanaians to have deep introspection and weigh how the policies of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP have positively impacted their lives, those of their neighbours, friends and relatives, even in the diaspora. Particularly, the fruits of the NPP government should be compared with what the previous NDC government provided. Four years of decisive, visionary, competent, caring and pro-poor leadership with bold policies implemented to impact the livelihood of all Ghanaians certainly calls for four more years to consolidate the gains achieved and put Ghana
on the sustainable path of increased standard of living, equity and prosperity for every Ghanaian living everywhere. More importantly, we urge all to reflect on the dangers and harm of rolling back these laudable policies and interventions. On 7th December 2020, Vote for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (Number 1 on the ballot) to do more for you and Ghana.
Diaspora Action Forum Germany
Francis Brenya Benson
Mavis Awo Dapaah
Director of Operations
Nana Benyin Enninful
Akosua Adobea Anokye