The Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo-Maafo has called on the steering committee of the “Beyond the return” agenda to put in place programmes geared towards attracting the “best pool of talents” from people of African descent in the diaspora.
According to him, the agenda should not only seek to attract tourists into the country, but rather encourage them to contribute their skills, knowledge and wealth to the development of Africa especially Ghana.
Beyond the Return is follow-up to last year’s successful “Year of Return’ campaign to grow Ghana’s tourism industry and solidify its diaspora engagement.
The Senior Minister made the call on Wednesday in Accra at a ceremony to unveil the seven pillars of ‘Beyond the Return’ agenda which sought to consolidate the bond between Africa and the diaspora.
The seven pillars of the agenda include experience Ghana, promote Pan African heritage and innovation, invest in Ghana, diaspora pathway to Ghana, give back Ghana, celebrate Ghana and brand Ghana.
The agenda, he said, should consciously address the push and pull factors that had been contributed to brain drain on the African continent.
Mr Osafo-Maafo said the pillars sought to harness the expertise of Africans across the globe to transform the continent and provide a business environment for direct investments into African economies.
“It is necessary to make Ghana the place for investment, progress and prosperity, and not a place from where the youth flee in the hope of accessing the greener pastures, or for a better life in Europe or the Americas,” he added.
He also mentioned that a 10-year plan to build on the momentum of the Year of Return under the theme “A Decade of Renaissance-2020-2030” had been rolled out to encourage investment to help improve the heritage infrastructure of the country.
The Senior Minister said, the project sought to consolidate the gains of the ‘Year of Return,’ grow tourism, showcase its investment potentials and solidify its diaspora engagement programmes to promote the African renaissance under the seven pillars over the next decade.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative was to allow for cross fertilisation of ideas and documentation of strategies to make Ghana more attractive as the destination for tourism, trade and investment.
“It is in synergy with the ‘Year of Return’ therefore that we have initiated ‘Beyond the Return’ spanning a 10-year period, from 2020 to 2030 to consolidate the gains made in 2019,” she stated.
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said the 10- year plan under the theme “A decade of renaissance” was to create a mutually beneficial corporation with the African diaspora community.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU