Akwasi Ababio, the Director of Diaspora Affairs, has advocated a legislator who will represent the diaspora community to allow the diasporan community to elect a lawmaker drawn from their ranks to represent their interest in parliament.
He admonished the leadership of the country to follow the steps of Senegal and adopt the move in order to ensure that Ghanaians living abroad contribute to the growth and development of the country.
“In 2017, representatives from Senegal’s diaspora were granted almost 10 per cent of seats in parliament, the decision is due to the fact that the country saw the importance and key role that migrants play in the West African nation’s economy.
“More than half a million Senegalese live outside their homeland, sending back more than $1.64 billion a year in remittances to their families, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) figures, and home to 13 million people, but France, Italy and Spain are popular choices for legal and illegal migrants, Ghana, on the other hand, bagged $3 billion worth of remittances,” Mr Ababio disclosed.
One of the main responsibilities of Mr Ababio is to ensure that Ghana fully engages the diaspora and leverages the pool of talents and investment potential for the growth and development of the country while employing policies, programmes and comprehensive strategies that will exponentially grow diasporan remittances beyond the currently stated $3 billion, and the engagement and utilisation of diaspora talent and investment potential for the growth and development of the nation.
According to Mr Ababio, who is the Chairman of the Year of Return Steering Committee, “I believe with a representative in our parliament from the ranks of the diaspora, will go a long way to help engage the effect the population of Ghanaians in the diaspora, as a huge constituency with nearly three million of them living abroad, the proposal is under consideration.
“The World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief has disclosed that remittances from Ghanaians living abroad to the country increased by 7.3 per cent to US$3.8 billion in 2018, and according to the report, transfers grew by almost 10 per cent to US$46 billion,” he stressed. -rainbowradioonline.com