Let’s move forward with a united voice towards progress and development

Unity Logo File photo

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 Source: Joe Kingsley Eyiah

The enthusiasm is great. The expectations are higher than ever before. Yes! The voices in the “Diasporan wilderness” are been heard loud and clear across the length and breadth of our motherland-Ghana. But are the voices not too many and discordant?

Selfishness is the bane of progress. Don’t we as Ghanaians in Diaspora need a UNITED VOICE to bring home our message of progress and development to our various communities around the world in general, and to the government and people of our motherland in particular?

Sure! We do!! It is said, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” A word to the wise is enough.

I am prompted here to cite the good example of the new Executives of Ghanaian-Canadian Association of Ontario (GCAO) based in Toronto in their efforts to co-ordinate all the voices of Ghanaians in Ontario to send a strong message to the Ghanaian Community and to the new government in Ghana.

First, On Sunday, March 19th 2017 GCAO held a Town Hall meeting dubbed Ghana@60 Toronto Declaration at the Apostles Continuation Church in Toronto.

The Town Hall which was well attended by a cross of Ghanaians living in Ontario gave opportunity to individuals to share their views on how we could move our motherland-Ghana forward in progress and development.

I recap here some of the recommendations from the Town Hall for Attention in Ghana among others. That, Ghanaians in Toronto would like Ghanaians in abroad to have the right to vote. Essentially we would like the ROPAL bill to be passed and implemented before the next elections in Ghana.

That, the new government streamlines processes and policies for business friendly Ghana. Thus, encouraging Ghanaians in Diaspora to bring businesses to our motherland.

That, members of the community would recommend measures instituted to fight corruption by ensuring that state funds embezzled are refunded rather than just sending people to jail. Refund and pay appropriate penalty as deterrent to people who have access to public funds. Thus, the penalty for embezzling state funds should be unpleasant for anyone to attempt to embezzle public funds.

That, duties on automobile need to be reviewed as age should not be the only consideration. Cars operating in developed countries where emissions test are done regularly have sound and efficient old cars

Also, that, the country needs to create an environment for volunteerism to allow skilled Ghanaian youth in abroad to come in and volunteer their time, talents and skills to help in our national development.

Second, recently in Toronto, Ghanaian Canadian Association ofOntario (GCAO) aka Ghana Union launched the Home Coming Summit being organized by Diaspora Relations, Office of the President of Ghana.

Mrs. Nadia Adongo Musah Deputy Director – Diaspora Relations at the office of the President came from Accra to launch the event assisted by Ms. Bernice Adjei, a member of the Home Coming Summit Committee. Both Mrs. Musa and Ms. Adjei, were until recently residents in Canada.

The Home Coming Summit is slated to take place from July 5th to July 8th in ACCRA and intended to host Ghanaians in diaspora from all over the world to create a platform to harness the untapped potential of Ghanaians in Diaspora

Considering the short time the GCAO had to launch this event, a good number of Ghanaians in Ontario made it to the event at Apostle Continuation Hall in Toronto.

It would be recalled that before and after the 2016 elections in Ghana, President Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated numerous times and on different occasions to engage and involve Ghanaians in diaspora in building our homeland Ghana and providing opportunities for Ghanaians to return home. Consistent with that message the President is inviting Ghanaians to start the process. It is therefore very unfortunate that some of the members of the President’s own political party, the NPP, resident abroad, especially in Canada, could not burry their difference and rally Ghanaians in the Diaspora with a united voice for the process. In Toronto for instance it was the GCAO aka Ghana Union which brought the community together for the process to be launched within a very short time. No wonder, Mrs Nadia Musah and Ms Bernice Adjei who came all the way from Ghana because of the launching were full of praises for the Executives of the GCAO.

The lesson learned here is that after elections in a country political parties’ voices ought to give way to a united voice of the people if we want to advance in development as a people. The GCAO succeeded where party functionaries found it very difficult to mobilize the people because GCAO is apolitical!

There is the absolute need to unite the many voices among political parties, diverse ethnic associations, professional bodies and Ghanaian churches in the Diaspora to prioritize our community and national concerns to be able to bring the needed progress and development to our communities around the world and, particularly, to motherland-Ghana. God bless all Ghanaians in Diaspora, God bless Ghana!

Columnist: Joe Kingsley Eyiah