As part of efforts to increase foreign direct investment into the country, Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta, says government’s plan to raise funds from the diaspora for the development of the country is on course.
He says the plan will facilitate government’s capital expenditure investments and seek to accelerate economic growth.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Diaspora Business Breakfast meeting organized by the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, GIPC, and the Beyond the Return Secretariat, Mr. Ofori-Atta stated that government is set to deploy more policy frameworks and investment vehicles targeting investors in the diaspora.
“When we look at the private sector, there is certainly domestic and international and then there is the diaspora, which also includes African-American. We have various ways of trying to do this bond. There have various experiences in Nigeria and in Kenya and it has been sort of overwhelming in terms of the amount of resources we have to mobilize. Though India and Israel have done very well, so it sounds to us that we need to be a little more innovative than we have been before,” he said.
Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Yofi Grant, also stated that the ongoing work on the Diaspora Engagement Policy will create the right business environment for foreigners operating in the country.
“Formulating a diaspora policy includes quite a number of things, but we are also taking examples globally. There are many examples from Israel, China even the United States, Philippines, and Indonesia. There are many countries that offer different propositions, and we want to get the best but it must be mutually beneficial, culturally beneficial and it must be transformational for us,” he said.
Already, data from the Central Bank indicates that the number of Ghanaians living abroad ranges between 1.5 million and 3 million.
Also, remittances from Ghanaians in the diaspora, through formal channels, have averaged US$ 2billion per year in recent times.
These figures demonstrate the potential of the diaspora as a source of foreign direct investment, which needs to be harnessed.