Diasporian News of 2013-12-14

MUGA: A Clarion Call to All Ghanaians Abroad

MUGA is an acronym for Movement of United Ghanaians Abroad. Ghanaians abroad have always realized the need and how important it is to come together in groups as a means of meeting fellow Ghanaians, discussing our common problems and feasting together which releases a lot of stress from our day to day engagements and hard work to make ends meet. In most European countries and North America, Ghanaians have formed different associations like Ghana unions and also on ethnic lines like Asantemankuo, Ga-Adangbe Association, Nfantsiman club, the Ewe Noviha, the Northern circle and many smaller groupings within the various regions. Such groups are mainly social organizations with little or no effect on the issues and problems going on in Ghana.

Ghanaians abroad have been very much disadvantaged and disrespected by policy makers in Ghana when it comes to formulating policies that will positively affect the interests of Ghanaians abroad. For example, no laws have been passed to allow Ghanaians abroad to vote. They have been side-lined and many rights have been denied them. Import duties are so high and the process of taking delivery of goods sent from abroad has deliberately been complicated only to siphon off illegal monies from Ghanaians abroad. The contributions made by Ghanaians abroad towards Ghana's development are immense. According to Central Bureau of Statistic (CBS) on African Affairs in Voorborg, Netherlands, each year Ghanaians living abroad send a conservative amount of €40 million to their relatives in Ghana. Furthermore Ghanaians abroad have shipped free hospital beds and equipment to many hospitals in Ghana, computers and software to schools and food and clothing to orphanages. Despite all these Ghanaians abroad have no say in what directly affects them in Ghana.

This unfortunate situation prompted Dr. William Kwadwo Wiafe, the proprietor, director and general overseer of Ghana Waves Radio in Bremen, Germany, to sit down and reflect on how he could bring all Ghanaians in the diaspora together to be able to influence certain opinions, decisions and laws by the government and lawmakers affecting their lives as Ghanaians abroad. He therefore mooted the idea of forming an organization that could be a rallying point for all Ghanaians. In the year 2012?the organization known as Movement of United Ghanaians Abroad (MUGA) was born. It is open to all Ghanaians abroad, regardless of age, sex, tribe, occupation or political affiliation.

Thousands of Ghanaians living in North America, Europe, Oceania,?Asia and other African countries have joined MUGA. Meetings are held through telephone conferencing and therefore all members, no matter where they are, have the opportunity to take part in the meeting by dialling a special number. What is more, every member has the right to free legal help from a qualified lawyer when one is confronted with a problem during a visit to Ghana that needs the services of a lawyer.

I will therefore urge all Ghanaians living abroad, through this article, to join MUGA as a matter of urgency, for as we say, there is strength in togetherness. If you are in Finland, don't hesitate to call me or write to my mail below the article. There are representatives in all the European and North American countries. Alternatively, you can go to MUGA website (www.muga.co), print out a membership form and complete it. Post the form with two passport-sized pictures and €30 yearly membership fee to MUGA Headquarters in Bremen. Find the contact details at the website.

The association aims at creating a common forum?for Ghanaians living abroad to express their concerns and situations affecting them in Ghana. Ghanaians abroad are very much concerned about not being allowed to vote abroad in Ghana's general election. MUGA will also have to fight hard to influence the Presidency, legislature and the Judiciary to give full national rights to Ghanaians with dual citizenship. MUGA members have expressed their seriousness by creating a MUGA office in Accra. The Headquarters of MUGA is, however, located in Bremen, Germany. The association, through demonstrations in America and Europe, has made it clear that Ghanaians abroad are not happy about the high rate of import duties and a demand for more rights for Ghanaians with dual citizenship. The demonstrations have always been felt in Ghana as they are often covered by Adom FM and other Ghanaian radio stations.

It is the vision of the association that Ghana pursues true development that will benefit Ghanaians both at home and abroad. If Ghana develops faster, each and every one will feel very much at home. It is the hope of every Ghanaian to return home one day or even pay a visit. It is important that the situation in Ghana improves so much that no one returns and regrets. In such a situation of unfair treatment and bad experiences, MUGA steps in to help by contacting those who can make life easier for the one who has just returned home. It is also the vision of MUGA to help make?Ghana a better place for all Ghanaians. ? ? MUGA has the potential to affect the lives of Ghanaians abroad as a powerful mouthpiece for all Ghanaians abroad. MUGA's arms are open to receive all Ghanaians. We can only influence decisions and events and discussions going on in Ghana concerning us, if we can come together and speak with a common voice.

Written by: Stephen Atta Owusu

Author: Dark Faces at Crossroads

Email: stephen.owusu@email.comu