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22.11.2007 General News

Ghana Institutes Diasporan Visa

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Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, Minister for Tourism and Diasporan Relations yesterday announced at the institution of a Diasporan Visa to facilitate and encourage many Diasporans to return to Ghana several times and possibly invest in Ghana.

He announced also the offering of a DNA Map, to enable Diasporans who take a DNA test to have the opportunity to reconnect to their families in Africa. Mr Asamoah-Boateng announced the steps in Parliament, in answer to questions related to the Joseph Project by the sector Ministry, in Accra, yesterday.

Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, MP for Wa West had asked whether the Joseph Project of the Ministry was not a duplication of the already existing Emancipation and Panafest Programme, and therefore a waste of national resources. Mr Asamoah-Boateng said the Joseph Project, also called the Akwaaba Anyemi, if anything would rather strengthen the Panafest and Emancipation and programmes and make them richer in content and enhance the personal experiences of the Diasporans.

He said the Joseph Project is a series of activities aimed at reaching [descendants of], forcibly uprooted from Africa and have been lost to their homeland for more than 400 years.

The programme, which was launched this year, includes activities such as a comprehensive education process for home-comers and the Diasporans to minimise the cultural shocks and conflicts that had occurred as natural development which came about during to the 400 years separation.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng said the a Nationwide Pilgrimage route has been identified and it would be offered to visiting Diasporans who would come to Ghana for Panafest, Emancipation Day or any calling.

'Above all, the Akwaaba Anyemi Programme/Joseph Project seeks to invite the African Diaspora to utilise their resources to generate development and investment in Ghana in particular and in Africa generally,' Mr Asamoah-Boateng said.

He added that the Ministry had developed a comprehensive Tourism Policy to cover all aspects of tourism, adding, 'The document is before cabinet.'

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