Ghana: Tapping Diaspora credits for development
By John Eche
After successfully positioning itself as the hub for returning Diaspora Africans in the Year of Return 2019 initiative, the West African nation of Ghana is taking its drive to tap more and more of Diaspora credits in actualising its long-held dream of building a strong and renascent Black African nation and continent.
At the moment, the country is set to launch a multi-million dollar fund targetted at attracting investment from the African diaspora.
The scheme wihich is to be promoted in the United States, Europe and elsewhere is said to be a follow-up to the “Year of Return 2019” which saw a massive outreach to the African diaspora as part of a commemorative project to remember and mark the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first African slaves in the United States.
According to Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Minister of Finance, the fund, which has presently been named the “African Sankofa Savings Account”, would be open to both high- and low-income earners from the diaspora, who would be encouraged to invest in portfolios drawn from “tourism infrastructure, agriculture value addition, real estates, music, culture, retirement homes, etc”.
On his part, President Nana Akufo-Addo’s formally undertook a launch in December of a new initiative named “Beyond the Return, The Diaspora Dividend”. According to him, the idea behind the initiative is to “engage Africans in the diaspora and all persons of African descent more positively in areas such as trade and investment co-operation, and skills and knowledge development.’
He broke it down:
“Let us all remember that the destiny of all black people, no matter where they are in the world, is bound up with Africa…We must help make Africa the place for investment, progress and prosperity, and not from where our youth flee in the hope of accessing the mirage of a better life in Europe or the Americas.”
It will be recalled that, beginning in the late 15th century, Portuguese ships had transported captured Africans as slaves to the United States, where they were sold or exchanged for valuable goods like cotton, coffee or tea. In all, estimates show that about 30,000 slaves from the present-day Ghana area were sent to the Americas.
Ken Ofori-Atta, Ghana’s Finance Minister