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21.10.2005 Diaspora News

Diaspora Vote - Delegation off to Ghana

By Mr. Kofi Boateng
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DIASPORA VOTE – THEY ARE OFF TO GHANA FOR ALL OF US On Saturday October 22, 2005 a group of thirteen representing the Ghana Diaspora will arrive from the US, Europe, Canada and Africa to make the views of Ghanaians living abroad heard on the impending Representation of the People Amendment Bill (ROPAB)- 2005. To the question: ”Should Ghanaians abroad have the right to vote abroad?” posed on Ghanaweb's poll, a solid 70.6% say YES.

The delegation comprises: Alhaji Abass Adamu, Amo Adjepong, Macdonald Agbenyo, Kwasi Afrifa, Phebe Annan, Mike Baffoe, Rebecca Bannor, Dr. Agyenim Boateng, Kofi A. Boateng, Dr. Kwame Frimpong, Nana Gyebi, Kwabena Manu and Jermaine Nkrumah. The group has been carefully chosen from the members of the dynamic and growing DIASPORA VOTE COMMITTEE to ensure that there is gender, ethnic, geographic and even Ghana Party balance. In an interview at JFK airport, Mr. Kofi A. Boateng who is leading the delegation said:

“The Diaspora has always been important to Ghana's socio-economic development. Remember that from Tetteh Quarshie's Diaspora years in Equatorial Guinea, he brought cocoa to Ghana. Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah's vision and dynamic leadership were nurtured by his Diaspora years in the U.S. Ghana is not alone. As globalization takes hold and critical masses of people converge in lands away from their places of birth, the voting franchise goes hand-in- hand with the fruits that the Diaspora bring home. The Chinese Diaspora is spurring their economic miracle.

We either choose to ignore this most valuable asset or cultivate it to our advantage. Granting them the right to vote from their places of residence is only the beginning step to a fuller engagement. We pray that this mission of the DVC delegation will drive home the point that we can have different names and preferences but we can come together to do one good thing for our land just as Ghana's national soccer team, the Black Stars are showing us. Look at the result of combining the Ghanaian Diaspora and local talent. The DVC has a simple mission to clear the fog that is clouding the initiative to extend the voting franchise to Ghana's children abroad. We are neither partisan nor driven by any ethnic ambition. We seek to succeed for all Ghanaians and bring our country closer to the progressive democratic world. If Senegal, Mali and South Africa can do this without any problems, surely the land of the black star can rise to this challenge. We thank all of you for your support and prayers. Nothing beats putting a face to an issue and we are fortunate to have this opportunity.”

The delegation has assigned a very ambitious agenda for itself. Meetings are planned with the President and his Vice, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Leaders of Parliament from all sides, the Attorney General and the Electoral Commission. Several media appearances will be made. The group is looking forward to Town Hall meetings and a debate at Legon. Ghanaweb will bring you a report after the end of the trip. Godspeed.

Interested in joining the DVC? Contact Mr. Kofi Boateng at [email protected]

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