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17.09.2004 Diaspora News

Databank to establish Diaspora fund

By GNA

Accra, Sept. 17, GNA - Databank Financial Services Limited is in the process of establishing a Diaspora Fund to cater for the investment needs of people living outside the country.

Mr Keli Gadzekpo, Executive Vice Chairman, said on Wednesday that remittances from Ghanaian migrants were sometimes stolen or misused by relatives because such funds were usually sent by hand or through informal channels as a result of the many problems associated with foreign exchange control rules.

Mr Gadzekpo, who was speaking at the end of the three-day conference on Migration and Development in Accra, said Databank would soon roll out a package that would respond to the needs of these migrants who would want to invest in the country.

The conference was organised by the United Nations Development Programme, the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana and the Netherlands Embassy in Accra.

The conference, which brought together 200 participants from Ghana, several African countries, Europe and multilateral organisations, focused on various aspects of migration including remittances, brain drain and Diaspora linkages.

Mr Gadzekop said migration was becoming a large source of foreign exchange earner and there was the need for policy formulation to manage the phenomenon.

According to him, just as gold and cocoa were being exported, it was possible to produce more brains for export, with the added advantage of some of such brains remaining in the country to develop the economy.

Mr Gadzekpo said remittances from Ghanaian migrants could be around three to five billion dollars a year, a figure, which exceeds total official development assistant.

Mrs Elizabeth Villars, Managing Director of Camelot Ghana Limited, said there was the need for the private sector to create more jobs to curb the unemployment rates, which served as a major reason for migration.

Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, who closed the meeting, urged the organisers to push the agenda of migration and development further by formulating actions to tackle the recommendations of the conference.

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