Diasporans asked to support nation-building
The Head of the Local Government Service, Dr Nana Ato Arthur, has asked skilled Ghanaians in the Diaspora to return home and contribute towards the accelerated development of the country.
He said it was necessary that they emulated the examples of some Chinese, Japanese and South Koreans who, after acquiring various skills in the West, returned to their native countries to contribute their quota to their growth.
Dr Arthur, who gave the advice at the launch of the Returnee Experts Alumni Network, Ghana (RANG) in Takoradi in the Western Region, said: “No matter what problems confront us as a nation, Ghanaians home and abroad are the only people who can build this country, and that should be a challenge to all of us.”
The RANG is an alumni association of Ghanaian returnee experts who lived, worked or studied in Germany and whose return home was facilitated by the Programme Migration and Diaspora (PMD) of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
Acquisition of skills
Dr Arthur said after Ghana attained independence, many Ghanaians went abroad through individual efforts or government scholarships to acquire knowledge in various fields of human endeavour.
“Over time, however, the desire to come home and support the development of the nation after their education and training keeps dwindling,” he said.
He mentioned the downward trend of the economy, indiscipline, dishonesty, corruption and limited job opportunities as some of the reasons Diasporans were reluctant to return home to work.
He also acknowledged the fact that the politicisation of the job market was dissuading some Diasporan professionals from coming home to serve.
Those challenges notwithstanding, Dr Arthur said, Diasporans were still supporting Ghana’s economy in diverse ways, including remittances, which constituted the second largest foreign exchange earner for the country.
“In 2018 alone, the country received over $3.5 billion in remittances, according to a 2019 World Bank report,” he said.
Dr Arthur commended members of the RANG for their effort at supporting the development of the country.
A Project Manager of the PMD, Ms Wilhelmina Onyango, said the returnees could contribute towards the attainment of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) when offered the needed opportunities to serve in the country.
The Head of the Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration, Mr Benjamin Woesten, also said over the years, his outfit had assisted the alumni network in diverse ways and urged them to continue to support Ghana’s development process.
“Nation-building through alumni associations cannot be negated, primarily because it is a healthy professional platform where intellectuals of diverse backgrounds meet to discuss and exchange ideas, mentor the next generation, network, among others,” he said.
“Your expertise matters. Your skills set is critical for our sustainable social and economic development. And we are proud of your achievements, individually and collectively,” he added.