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Blogger Elvina Quaison launches a series of articles designed to get you talking. “To begin these conversations, I would like to talk about Ghana @60. Let’s talk.”
There are so many topics and situations that arise that you just want to talk about. There are questions to be asked and thoughts to be shared. A space to learn and gain clarity as well as get that frustration off your chest (in a respectful manner) and hear what others think and feel about the same subject.
So, to begin these conversations I would like to talk about Ghana @60. Let’s talk.
Ghana is sixty. Ghana has a new government, a new party, a new point of view, but what does this mean for the nation? Are we planning towards the next election or the next 60-plus years? As a Ghanaian citizen abroad, I am thinking about what can I do to contribute to the building of the Ghana we want to see.
On President Nana Akufo Addo’s first international trip to Mali as President, he said to Ghanaians there: "Start considering and planning your return home, so you can also contribute your quota in helping move our country forward. Ghana needs your strength and intellect." He also said: “What we need to understand and believe is that we can also make it in Ghana, and improve the standards of living of our people. We can do it.”
While the President was speaking in Mali, this was definitely a call to all Ghanaians outside Ghana’s borders. When speaking to a Ghanaian in the UK, she pointed out that ‘Yes, going back to Ghana is good for some, but the government also needs to recognise the support and contributions from those who stay outside.’
This is a very good point as the global Ghanaian diaspora sent nearly $5 billion in remittances (money sent home) in 2015 to directly support family members or for their business/ investment interests, all extremely necessary.
However, there are also some very compelling stories of Ghanaians in the diaspora who made the return and contributed in varying ways to Ghana’s economy and social development. We will be profiling some of these people as well as other Africans in the diaspora using their strength and intellect to improve the standards of other African countries.
The new Ghanaian government also needs to recognise the concerns of its diaspora about blockages they encounter as they seek to engage or seriously consider relocating. This is where the Ghanaian embassies and High Commissions have a strong role to play by reaching out and connecting with their communities. In turn the diaspora need to see Government as a vehicle of assistance and not the answer to all their queries. Wherever you launch a business or start a new life, there are challenges; we need to identify the ones that government can realistically intervene to make easier.
"Start considering and planning your return home, so you can also contribute your quota in helping move our country forward. Ghana needs your strength and intellect." President Akufo Addo
Nana Akufo Addo emphasised our collective responsibility for improving Ghana when he said: ‘We can do it.’ What is the Ghana you want to see? What are the skills, abilities, knowledge, passion that you have that you would like to put to work either on the ground or from a distance? What do you feel are your challenges to making this happen?
You can tweet me @ElvinaQuaison and share your thoughts with me. In the meantime, Happy Ghana Independence Day and let’s see how we can work together to make our nation great and strong!Stay in touch and let’s talk!