Welcome, fellow members of the Ghanaian Diaspora.
Please join me to first and foremost thank HE President Nana Akufo-Addo for fulfilling his campaign pledge to include the Ghanaian Diaspora in the socio – economic transformation of the country by appointing over thirty-five (35) of us to serve in various capacities in his administration. I also thank Hon Ken Ofori-Atta for forming the Diaspora Mobilization Committee that evolved into the planning committee of this homecoming summit. I am indeed honored to chair this committee comprising some of the most talented and dedicated members of the Ghanaian diaspora.
Throughout history, countries have seen a massive boost to their socio economic development with the introduction of credible diaspora engagement policies. In China, the Xi administration's diaspora engagement policies focused on jump-starting immigration reform to win the minds and hearts of overseas Chinese among other things. The result has been nothing short of spectacular. Similarly and around our own backyard, Senegal reaped massive dividends when it boldly extended voting rights and dedicated Parliamentary seats for her diaspora community worldwide.
Ghana would be no exception if it positively engages her diaspora who bravely left the comforts of their country to endure the harsh and lonely terrain of foreign lands to acquire human, financial, and other resources. Many of these accomplished Ghanaians returned home to contribute to the development of our country whilst others remained in their host countries to become ambassadors of Ghana. Ghanaians in the diaspora are among the most accomplished in the world, and their story would not be complete without the mention of the huge financial resources totaling $3 billion they pour into the economy annually. This is the single largest foreign exchange earner for the country outstripping gold, cocoa, oil, and foreign aid.
I am proud to report that, though the Summit was initiated by the Government of Ghana, it has been entirely funded by the Ghanaian Diaspora and their Corporate partners. This was to ensure that the Summit does not become only an event but a continuous engagement with all stakeholders in the Diaspora movement.
It is our fervent hope that this homecoming summit will jumpstart a process that would lead to a credible effort of harnessing the potential in the diaspora for accelerated socio-economic development of our country. On behalf of the Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit Committee, our partners, and all our Sponsors, I would like to welcome you all
to the Diaspora Homecoming Summit 2017 – AKWAABA.