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06.07.2005 General News

US Embassy warns Expo-Africa organizers

By Chronicle
US Embassy warns Expo-Africa organizers
LISTEN JUL 6, 2005

The United States of America (USA) Embassy in Accra has cautioned organizers, participants and exhibitors to the Expo-Africa 2005 International Trade and Investment Exhibition and Conference to be held in Atlanta, Georgia in the US against visa application fraud or risk Visa refusal and subsequent prosecution, if they are caught. Speaking at a one-day seminar, the Chief Consular at the Non-Immigrant visa section of the Embassy Ms. Sara Revelle disclosed that Ghanaian visa applicants wanting to travel to the US usually support their applications with fraudulent and forged documents. The seminar was organized to brief participants and the exhibitors to the conference on the process of acquiring US visas and business strategies to a successful conference to be held in the US in September 29th to October 2nd 2005.

Explaining the US visa acquisition process, Ms. Revelle stated that companies and businesses who would participate in the conference must present the right personnel who understand their business practices and what they intend to do at the conference.

She explained that individual applicants should be prepared to justify to the Consular section of the embassy their capacity and credibility that they are genuine business men and women, going to the conference for a legitimate business purpose.

She added that the visa section of the embassy is over-stretched with numerous Ghanaians visa applicants wanting to travel to the US, with most of them presenting fraudulent and forged documents.

The deputy chief consular at the US Non-Immigrant visa section Ms. Michelle Lee in her delivery also complained about the numerous Ghanaian visa application frauds.

She explained that the visa section has to use additional resources to investigate fraudulent and forged supporting documents presented by applicants.

Later in an interview with the director of the Expo-Africa 2005 Mr. William K. Kwakye, he disclosed that the organizers have put in place all the necessary mechanisms to check potential applicants who would try to indulge in any fraudulent act.

He asserted that as the director of conference, his organization had inspected prospective participants and exhibitors' various documents such as company registration certificates, tax clearance certificates among others.

He added that apart from the inspection of documents of the various companies and business their marketing department had gone round to check physical structures of the various companies and business.

Mr. Kwakye stated further that apart from the business objective of the conference, it would also project the other side of Africa as a conducive and safe investment continent.

He observed that the African continent has always been projected as a continent without hope, characterized by wars, famine, diseases, corruption and bad governments.

He said the conference would therefore seek to correct that misconception and impression that had been created in the advanced world.

The Expo-Africa 2005 director disclosed that there are about 25 African countries that would be participating in the three-day conference.

He named some of the participating countries as South Africa, Ghana, and Senegal. Uganda, Botswana, Nigeria, and almost all the francophone countries in Africa.

Mr. Kwakye disclosed further that the organizers have registered about 250 Ghanaian companies and businesses that would be participating in the conference.

He concluded that last year's conference was a very successful one, maintaining that with the amount of preparation that had gone into this year's conference, it would be a more successful conference.