The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) and the ‘Beyond the Return’ Secretariat collaborated on the first ever Diaspora Business Breakfast Meeting which was held on Tuesday November 17, 2020. The event took place at the Marriott Hotel in Accra. The meeting was an official ‘Beyond the Return’ event which carefully aligns with one of the pillars for the campaign called, Invest in Ghana.
After the ‘Year of Return’ many diasporans wanted to explore business and investment opportunities in Ghana. Under the Invest in Ghana pillar for ‘Beyond the Return’, a committee has been formed that is chaired by GIPC with a goal to create programs and opportunities to support the diaspora in their journey towards investing in Ghana.
The event’s theme was ‘Creating Connections- Building Ghana, Together’ and was an opportunity to network and engage with the diaspora community. Speakers included, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Hon. Ken Ofori-Atta, CEO GIPC, Yofi Grant, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, and Co-Chair of ‘Beyond the Return’ Steering Committee, Akwasi Awuah Ababio, Co-Chair for the ‘Beyond the Return’ Steering Committee, Kwame Acheampong Boateng Esq. and CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority and Coordinator for ‘Beyond the Return’, Akwasi Agyeman.
Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, Akwasi Awuah Ababio, addressed the attendees about the ‘Right of Abode’ and citizenship, stating that there to plans in place to work on those concerns. He also spoke on making provisions for the diaspora who are looking to relocate and resettle in Ghana. CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre highlighted important areas of business opportunities for the diaspora while speaking on the importance of taking advantage of our strengths and resources. “We can’t have a continent that is wealthy and yet our people are poor,” he said. “We must all do our bit to transform our nation.”
Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway was the Keynote Speaker and shared her experience about moving back to Ghana in 1993 when there was no structure in place to support returnees. She commended the collaborative effort between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, GIPC, Ghana Tourism Authority, the Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President and the Beyond the Return Secretariat. “There’s never been a time in the history of this country where you see so much interest and enthusiasm on the part of the diaspora who are willing to contribute their skills, technical know-how, and capital in support of government transformation agenda,” she said.
The Panel Discussion was moderated by Jerry Adjorlolo and featured Diasporans who shared their experiences and advice when moving to Ghana. They were, Head of Information and Public Affairs Embassy of Ghana USA, Kofi Tonto, Real Estate Developer; Ayi Mensah Park, Kofi Anku, CEO of GUBA Enterprise, Dentaa Amoateng, and Senior Social Protection Specialist, World Bank Group; Founder of Ahaspora, Christabel Dadzie.
In closing the event, Akwasi Agyeman said that we need to tell our story and it starts from us. “We need to open our arms to our brothers and sisters out there, it’s a collaborative effort,” he said. “We’re not just talking about the Ghanaian diaspora, we’re talking about the historical diaspora as well,” he said.