Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Baffour Agyei Bawuah has encouraged African-Americans to support the Year of Return project by visiting Ghana and tapping into investment opportunities.
Speaking on Straight Talk Africa aired on the Voice of America (VOA), the Ambassador revealed why the President of Ghana chose 2019 as the Year of Return. According to him, the Year of Return emphasizes the fact that Africans and African-Americans are a family split by the ‘pond’ Atlantic Ocean even after four hundred years. “We are celebrating the fact that people who were taken from Ghana left the shores of Africa under very difficult circumstances. They came to America to work under excruciating circumstances. They had to get used to a language that they had never heard before and in the process mastered it to the extent that they wrote books”, he said.
When quizzed by host Peter Clottey if the ‘Year of Return’ was gaining momentum, he stated that the interest is exceptionally high as the numbers of people who visited Ghana within the last three months as well as the number of visas to Ghana issued had increased. “I suspect that we are becoming victims of our own success in promoting Ghana as an investment destination and a tourist destination and then also the home of all those in the diaspora. It has been very good. The take up has been exceptional”, he added.
In his submission, he mentioned that the ‘Year of Return’ was tied in with investment promotion and as such there is a set-up in every area of the economy to support investments. He added that before such opportunities could be made available, the government had to ensure that the living condition of the citizens was in good shape. Thus, the government introduced the ‘One District,One Factory’ project and the ‘Free SHS’ policy. According to him, the former has reduced the burden on social amenities in the cities whilst the latter has allowed people who could not afford secondary education to enroll in schools.
The Ambassador stated that the government had forged ahead with the Free SHS policy to the extent that a double stream system was needed to implement the policy.
“The number of people who have entered secondary school within the short period the president has been in office obviously has been excessive enough for it has become necessary for us to run a double stream in the education system. But infrastructure is proceeding in such a way that gradually the double stream is receding”, he said.
In his closing remarks, he urged all in the African diaspora to come to Ghana and invest whilst having fun.
By: Alberta Dorcas N D Armah