The country’s envoys abroad have held a conference at Senchi in the Eastern Region, renewing their commitment to deepen Ghana’s cordial relationship with the rest of the world.
The two-day meeting which opened on Saturday, was also used by the Conference of Heads of Missions to ascertain the state of diasporan Ghanaians and what could be done to properly identify them and respond accordingly, in their times of need.
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, the conference was to evaluate the contribution of the missions to the realisation of the government’s agenda and to review the strategic outlook of the ministry.
Attended by all 57 missions and consulates, it was also to build effective co-operation between the sector ministry, missions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to enhance Ghana’s diplomacy.
Opening the conference, Ms. Hannah Tetteh, the minister, tasked the diplomats to “take the responsibility and tell the Ghanaian story to the world” in order to promote the country.
Ms. Tetteh said as faces of the country in the countries in which they represented Ghana, it was their duty to correct any erroneous impressions that might have been created in the minds of the outside world.
The envoys, the minister noted, should lead Ghana’s bilateral and multilateral economic cooperation, while harmonising trade policy and investment code for economic growth.
She said in order for the above to be achieved, it was necessary they engaged the various agencies and departments to know what their challenges were, with regards to promotion of investment opportunities, and pledged the ministry preparedness to be the link between the missions and the agencies.
Ms. Tetteh, however, reckoned the financial constraints the missions faced and pledged of government’s commitment to creating the enabling environment for the effective running of the missions.
She described this year as a very eventful one for the country as it participated in all global and regional conferences for the overall betterment of the world and hinted of a more eventful 2016.
Ms. Tetteh urged the missions to develop the culture of effective collaboration amongst themselves, for successful representation of Ghana at all levels because the peculiar nature of the matters to be dealt with, especially in 2016, might affect more than a missions.
Speaking in an interview with the media, later Ms. Tetteh stressed the need to keep in touch with Ghana’s diasporan community, because “when we are not in touch with our communities abroad, how then do we reach out to them when there are crisis?”
According to her, diasporan engagement remained a focal point of her leadership as the sector minister and called on Ghanaians living abroad, legal or illegal, to be friends of their respective missions so that the missions could have a better understanding of the Ghanaian population in those countries.
The Director of the Policy, Planning and Research Bureau at the Ministry, Mr. Edwin Adjei, said progress had been made in the foreign service regulation and added that plans were underway to increase Ghana’s presence in more countries so as to extend the country’s diplomatic ties.
From Julius Yao Petetsi,Senchi