United Nations Network on Migration, EU and Government of Ghana Mark International Migrants Day with First Diaspora Dialogue
22 December 2022
The United Nations Network on Migration (UNNM), European Union (EU) and the Government of Ghana joined forces on Friday 16 December to commemorate the 2022 International Migrants Day in Accra, Ghana by hosting a ‘Diaspora Dialogue’. This Diaspora Dialogue was organized in collaboration with the Diaspora Affairs Office of the Office of the President at the Accra International Conference Centre.
Over 250 representatives from government, UN entities, EU, Ghanaian diaspora, and the private sector gathered, in-person and online, to explore innovative solutions to improve responses to challenges Ghanaian Diaspora encounter in their efforts to contribute to Ghana’s socio-economic development, including investment and job creation.
“While the diaspora is already making important contributions to the development of the country, this Dialogue is crucial to explore further which measures need to be put in place to allow the Diaspora to support the country in its economic recovery post-COVID-19, and especially against the reality of the current global crisis,” said Akwasi Awua Ababio, Director, Diaspora Affairs Office, Office of the President.
With December attracting hundreds of Ghanaians from the Diaspora to return home, the Diaspora Dialogue complements the Government’s ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative, which aims to acknowledge and enhance diaspora contribution to Ghana’s socio-economic development after the country saw a considerable number of Ghanaian and African diaspora coming to Ghana in 2019.
Head of Governance and Security at the EU Delegation to Ghana, Anna Lixi, said that the “Diaspora is a unique and often overlooked driver of investment and growth. The EU actively supports unlocking the potential vested in diaspora and migrant communities more generally, including through the EU-UN Building Migration Partnerships Programme.”
During the Dialogue, participants discussed how the diaspora could be empowered to contribute to the socio-economic development and creation of green jobs in Ghana. Representatives from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Diaspora community, UNNM, including UNDP, UNCDF and IOM, Diaspora Affairs Office (DAO), identified gaps and recommendations that will serve as a basis for subsequent action by relevant stakeholders, including the UN. Key recommendations included enhancing quality of data, expediating the fomal adoption of the draft diaspora policy and, enhancing coordination among various government agecnies.
“The 2030 Agenda includes a pledge to ‘leave no one behind’, and to endeavour to reach the furthest behind as we deliver. Addressing migration and migrants issues will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Charles Abani, UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana. “Enhancing migration governance through the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration will be essential. Ghana’s unique approach to involving the Diaspora will allow the country to build back better,” he added.
The Diaspora Dialogue is part of a wider effort to make migration work for the benefit of all – in line with the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). Ghana was among the first champion countries that volunteered to increase advocacy and ownership on the GCM. The UN Network in Ghana, established in 2020, provides a space to advance planning around GCM implementation, monitoring and review. The Diaspora Dialogue was made possible with the support of the European Union funded project “EU-UN Building Migration Partnerships Programme” implemented by the UN Network in Ghana.