Government would ensure implementation of ROPAL- President assures Diaspora

Accra, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured Ghanaians in the Diaspora of his government’s determination to provide the needed funding to enable the Electoral Commission (EC) to implement the Representation of the Peoples Amendment Law (ROPAL) in future elections.

He said to enable Ghanaians everywhere to exercise their franchise, “Government will engage the Chairperson of the EC to ensure that whatever is needed to bring the law into effect is done.”

President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance when he opened the Diaspora Homecoming Summit 2017 in Accra on Wednesday.

The Summit, which is a direct initiative of the Akufo-Addo Administration, seeks to engage and harness the Diaspora community’s potentials to invest in the vast opportunities and possibilities and actively participate in the transformation of Ghana.

ROPAL, a law that seeks to provide opportunity for Ghanaians living abroad to participate in general elections, was passed by Parliament 12 years ago but the EC has not been able to implement it due to inadequate resources.

President Akufo-Addo said though a group was challenging the EC in court over the implementation of the ROPAL, government would wait patiently for the outcome of the suit.

Emphasising the critical role and invaluable contributions that Ghanaian in the Diaspora played in the economy of Ghana, President Akufo-Addo said government would expand opportunities for Ghanaians living abroad to enable them to participate in national discourse and the development of the country.

He also assured the Diaspora community that government would revisit the law that prevented Ghanaians with dual citizenship from holding public offices.

President Akufo-Addo said his administration took the decision to move the Office of the Diasporan Relations from the Foreign Affairs Ministry to the seat of Government to enable it to effectively coordinate the affairs of the Ghanaian community outside the country and better engage them.

He said as government was accountable to them owing to their contribution to the economic fortunes of the country.

President Akufo-Addo said his government was developing a policy framework to enable the country to harness effectively the skills and competencies of Ghanaians living outside the country to transform the economy in line with his vision.

He said he would ensure that the Diaspora Community participated fully and benefited from the opportunities that Ghana had to offer, and appealed to all Ghanaians to assist governments to bring to reality the dream of improving the quality of life in the country and build a country beyond aid.

“Everyone in and out the country has a significant role to play to position the country on the path of progress. Our economy over the years has been dependent on the production of raw materials which cannot provide decent and sustainable jobs,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo noted that the ambitious programme government had put in place would stimulate growth, create jobs, lower the cost of doing business, and make Ghana the most business friendly economy in Africa.

“We have a clear vision of where we want to take the country and we have presented a clear and detailed plan of how we will get there. We have a bright future ahead and I am certain that we will transform Ghana,” he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency