Building a Prosperous Future – Brain Drain I was at a conference in Milton Keynes and heard a Ghanaian gave an eloquent speech on the benefits of Local Government Decentralization. What baffled me was the contents of his CV that all the speakers had to provide for the occasion. My first impression was hey Ghanaians you are everywhere – this brain drain. His speech to the conference on Local Government Decentralization – “Empowering Communities to unleash their potential” was mesmerizing, punchy, and illustrative and thought provoking. At the end of the speech, delegates who had come from all over the UK gave him a standing ovation. I was proud to be a Ghanaian but not proud of the loss of our talented young men and women to foreign companies and overseas national and central governments it seems so unfair
What made me write this article is, during questions and answers time a delegate at the conference asked our Ghanaian speaker about his plans for the future. The response from the speaker was mind blowing, shattering and utterly unbelievable. Exact Quote “I will be taken a year out an I am waiting for a response from His Excellency President Abdoulaye Wade from Senegal on a possible year working with the Senegalese Government the Senegal Ambassador in the UK General Mamadou has promised me that the President will respond very soon”.
I was gob smacked, was I hearing right? . Another delegate asked a follow on question “Why can't you impart your significant skills and experience acquired whilst in the UK to your native country the response from the speaker was it is “part of the African Continent.”
After the meeting I tried as hard as possible to understand his reasoning for choosing Senegal but received a cold shoulder. I am sure he will be furious when he sees this article he may not even remember who I am but we live in free democratic state and his CV was in the public domain so it can be used.
My plea to the Ghanaian Authorities is we need our skilled men/women to help develop our country. We have stated that we are going to create a database of skilled Ghanaians but nothing has come of it. Please someone from the Government must get in touch with this gentleman and see how he can contribute to Ghana for a year not Senegal.
I have attached a copy of the summary of his achievements that was in the brochure (in public domain) why can't we poach him for a year to assist us to modernize our Local Government. He could head any of our National/Regional Municipal Administrations for a year? Why Senegal ? The name of this gentleman who spoke at the conference was Appiah Kufuor and his title on the brochure was Head of European Division – Luton Borough Council, Luton, and Bedfordshire. I am sure if we write to the Local Authority in Luton or the Embassy in Ghana he can easily be traced
This brain drain need to used to our advantage there are many intelligent Ghanaians all around the globe that may be willing to spend a year in their country – the European Embassies must get their act together
Ms Nana Akua-Serwah
Summary of Major Achievements
q First Black Chairperson- North West Institution of Economic Development Officers (UK)
q Worked as part of the team that secured £1bn worth of European Funding for the region of Merseyside
q Developing and Managing the UK element of the PRELUDE programme. (£25m) Funded by Single Regeneration Budget and European Regional Development Fund - to advise the Municipality of Bilbao (Spain) Perama (Greece) Grudziadz (Poland) on their investment, employment and training policies. Also developing local economic and tourism strategies for Grudziadz
q Awarded the Ghana Professional Award for entrepreneurship 2002 and 2004(UK)
q Member of the CIPFA Technical Information Services European Union Editorial Board – The TIS European Union focuses on the impact of EU Policy on local authorities and aims to provide a hub of good practice for all those working with European funding in local government
q Contributed to UK National Debate and Policy on economic development
q Secured more than £100m worth of European Funding into Luton
q Acted as Chief Executive of Marsh Farm Development Trust overseeing a budget of £48m
q Written numerous articles/pamphlets on European Funding, Low Pay, Regeneration and Economic Development
q Campaigned for the introduction of a National Minimum Wage
q Worked with the Local Chamber of Commerce and organizations to promote Ghana as a Investment location
q Wrote, developed and implemented Economic development Strategies for Middlesborough and Knowsley in Liverpool
q Produced a Community Enterprise Strategy for Luton
q Successfully submitted 3 Single Regeneration Budget bids worth £20million in - Northwood, Huyton and Kirkby (Liverpool)
q Work with local neighborhood community groups and organizations to identify local needs and action, by preparing area regeneration strategies,
q Assisting local communities and organizations to prepare project proposals and identify various partners,
q Helped to develop the Ford Jaguar Training complex in Speke (Liverpool) q Working with key strategic partners to build the multi million Butterfield Innovation Centre in Luton
q Working in partnership with Government and non- governmental organizations to develop and build the first National Carnival Arts center in the UK at Luton
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