Following recent media speculations on the conditions under which Ghanaian migrant workers worked and lived in the State of Qatar, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Regional Cooperation and NEPAD, Hon. Akwasi Osei-Adjei has undertaken an urgent one-day Fact-Finding Mission to Doha.
The Deputy Minister undertook the Mission to Qatar on December 9, 2006, on his way back to Accra from Khartoum, following the conclusion of the 5th ACP Summit in Sudan.
While in Qatar, the Deputy Minister held a series of meetings with the management of Messrs AI Jaber Company, a major user of Ghanaian migrant workers in Qatar. He ascertained from the management of AI Jaber, the actual conditions of employment of the Ghanaian migrant workers, their working and living conditions, and the meals provided them.
Hon. Osei-Adjei emphasized to the management of AI Jaber, the need for Ghanaian workers to be treated with utmost dignity and in accordance with applicable labour standards.
Hon. Osei-Adjei followed up with a visit to the project site where he engaged in an intensive discussion with over 118 Ghanaian employees of AI Jaber Company.
During the interaction with the Ghanaian workers, the Deputy Minister assured them that the Government of Ghana took their welfare abroad very seriously and that it was in that regard that he personally traveled to Qatar to address their concerns.
Hon. Osei-Adjei took due note of the views expressed by the Ghanaian workers during the durbar. He informed them that he had already held discussions with the management of AI Jaber on some of their concerns and obtained positive assurances that management practices in relation to the Ghanaian workers would be improved. He informed the workers that on his return to Ghana, he would present a factual and comprehensive report to Government on the entire situation, to enable the necessary recommendations and follow-up actions.
Hon. Osei-Adjei meanwhile advised the Ghanaian workers to comport themselves, exhibit professionalism in their duties and be worthy ambassadors of Ghana both at the company where they worked and in the State of Qatar. During his visit to Qatar, the Deputy Minister interacted with a representation of the Ghanaian community in Qatar. He informed them also of the recent policy of the Bank of Ghana to re-denominate the Ghanaian cedi, and discussed with them the support required of the Ghanaian diaspora in national development.
The Deputy Minister has since returned to Accra. He was accompanied on his fact-finding mission by Mr. J. Allotey, Minister-Counsellor of the Ghana Embassy in Saudi Arabia and Mr. Harold Adlai Agyeman, Personal Assistant to the Deputy Minister.