Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, urged the diaspora community to return home with their talents, capital, skills and knowledge to facilitate Ghana’s growth.

He implored them to return with honesty, openness, optimism and moderate expectations, adding that there are opportunities for the diaspora community.

“There will be challenges, but you have to be patient to tolerate the inefficiency of the system with the intention of helping it improve. We will do everything we can to help you get settled, ”he said.

Mr. Ofori-Atta, who was speaking at the inaugural Diaspora Investment Summit which aims to create a way to foster partnerships between local and Diaspora investors, said returning home meant a sense of belonging and unity with the family.

The event, whose theme was: “The new normal, leveraging the investments of the diaspora to rebuild better”. presented Ghana as a prime destination for doing business in order to stimulate the inflow of foreign direct investment.

It was held under the auspices of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the Ministry of Information, the Office of Diaspora Affairs at the office of the President, the African Diaspora Forum and beyond. Ghana Tourism Authority Return Secretariat.

The Minister of Finance said that Ghana was not just a matter of geographical location, but an idea of ​​independence, unity and freedom, which was initiated by Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first president.

He explained that 60 years later, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was created, which means economic empowerment.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said the government has defined 10-point pillars including One District One Factory, Industrial Parks and Special Economic Zones, Strategic Anchor Industries, Export Development Program and others. to stimulate an industrial transformation program.

Mr. Wamkele Mene, Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, said that diversified opportunities have been multiplied in the AfCFTA market to promote trade and foreign direct investment, create businesses, encourage entrepreneurship and transfer new ones. knowledge and skills.

It found that 69% of countries that signed the deal had legally accepted obligations to open markets, lower trade barriers, lower barriers to investment and adhere to a single set of rules for trade. and investment on the African continent.

Mr Mene advised investors to undertake larger revenue projects at the regional rather than national level in order to provide large and attractive markets with reduced cross-border barriers.

He said the first phase of the agreements aims to reduce tariffs and non-tariff barriers to goods and advance liberalization of trade in services.

Mr Mene said phase two involved investment, competition policy and intellectual property rights agreements that would have a fully developed investment protocol by December 2021, while phase three would involve provisions of electronic commerce.

He said the diaspora possesses positive development potential, which would help alleviate the development challenges of Africa and Ghana if properly utilized.

The secretary general said the Ghanaian diaspora had an important role to play in the government’s development effort to build the country beyond aid.

Mr Mene mentioned that Ghana would not have to reinvent the wheel to forge a meaningful connection with its African Diaspora due to the number of initiatives already undertaken to deepen cultural ties and bridge the physical divide between the African Diaspora and the African Diaspora. country.

“Initiatives such as the highly successful Year of Ghana’s Return in 2019, designed to symbolize 400 years since the arrival of the first African slave to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619, have resonated with the African-American community in the United States and served to instill more ties between Ghana. and counterparts in the diaspora, ”he said.

Mr. Mene recommended that such initiatives be reviewed to extend beyond tourism and target foreign investment and business partnerships.

Source: GNA

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