14.05.2004 General News

Workshop to promote contributions of Ghanaians in Diaspora opens

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Accra, May 14, GNA - A two-day workshop designed to create a framework for exploring ways of promoting the contributions of Ghanaians in the Diaspora for sustainable national development opened in Accra on Friday. Organised by the Social Enterprise Development Foundation (SEND) in collaboration with the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD), the forum would examine ways through which to maximise resource mobilization from Ghanaians abroad for execution of projects back home.

Participants drawn from civil society organizations and some district assemblies would exchange ideas on the findings and recommendations of a research conducted into some models of Ghanaian Diaspora engagements with their local communities to leverage various development opportunities.

The study is part of Hello Africa Action Research Project, which was seeking the increased involvement and visibility of the African Diaspora in supporting and alleviating hardship, injustice and marginalisation from the continent.

Opening the workshop, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, Deputy Minister of Information, said Ghanaians abroad could enhance the country's socio-economic development. It was in this direction that the government organized the Home Coming Summit to develop a process of renewal of confidence of Ghanaians living abroad.

Ghanaian residents abroad last year contributed about 1.4 billion dollars in the form of remittances to the national economy. Mr Asamoah-Boateng said the Summit was also to identify the means to tap into their acquired capacities the creation of national wealth. He lauded the various innovative programmes being adopted by Diplomatic missions abroad to assist and facilitate the mobilization of resources from Ghanaians living abroad in support of development programmes in Ghana.

The Deputy Minister cited the scheme of the High Commission in Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom to support various developments and to procure vital equipment for the Ghana Police Service. Mr Siapha Kamara, Chief Executive Officer of SEND Foundation of West Africa called for mechanisms that would strengthen and enhance the Diaspora confidence to meaningfully participate in the national poverty reduction agenda.

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