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20.10.2004 General News

Government to promote right of abode policy

By GNA

Gyakiti (E/R) Oct. 20, GNA - Government is promoting the right of abode policy that would allow foreigners a continued stay in the country longer than the their officially stipulated period.

Mr Boniface Abubakar Siddique, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City said, "currently it is possible for persons with continuous stay of about 18 months and have evidence of residence or business investment in Ghana to be accorded the right of abode".

The Deputy Minister was speaking at a memorial tree planting ceremony as part of this year's Mission Africa Home Coming Event for returnees from the Diaspora.

The programme, organized by Mission Africa Incorporated, an NGO, with an objective to seek humanitarian assistance for natural and spiritual development of Africa brings people from the Diaspora to the country yearly to visit Africa.

He said the Ministry of Tourism had always yearned that people in the Diaspora return to the country to invest and said a person so awarded would enjoy similar rights like any other Ghanaian.

Informing them about the Ministry's "Joseph project", which aims at bringing together Africans in the Diaspora to help in the development of the continent, Mr Siddique, said the project would be used to celebrate African excellence since it would highlight renowned Africans in the Diaspora who have triumphed over all adversities.

He said the tourism ministry would support all efforts towards the realization of the re-unification with people from the Diaspora. Mr Siddique commended Dr Kodjoe Sumney, Founder of Mission Africa Inc. for coming up with the programme.

Dr Sumney explained that the programme dubbed "Diaspora Returnees Vineyard" aims at uniting African-Americans in the Diaspora to help reduce poverty and deprivation to place African countries on a path of sustainable growth and development.

This year, 12 African Americans made up of investors, businessmen and women, pastors, medical practitioners and missionaries came to participate in the programme.

They planted mango and coconut trees along the fifty-acre plot of land that had been acquired at Gyakiti.

Dr Sumney said the land would be used for building hotels, where people could come for relaxation.

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