A Knowledge-Sharing Mission: Botswana Explores Ghana's Diaspora Engagement Practice
Accra – From 23 to 27 October 2023, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Ghana and Botswana facilitated a technical visit of a delegation from the Government of Botswana to Ghana, to exchange good practices on diaspora engagement and remittances with key representatives from the Government of Ghana (GoG) and the private sector.
The study visit was organized in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Botswana and other relevant migration stakeholders, to support the Government of Botswana in enhancing its engagement with Botswana’s diaspora to reap their potential for social and economic development of the country.
The delegation met with officials from IOM Ghana; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Reintegration; Diaspora Affairs Office, Office of the President (DAOOP); Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations; Ghana Tourism Authority; Beyond the Return Secretariat; as well as from the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana; Ghana Investment Promotion Centre; a remittances company, Zeepay; and a business development center, Innohub.
"This mission exemplifies our dedication to empowering diaspora engagement and leveraging the invaluable contributions of the diaspora. We believe that understanding the successful Ghanaian model will be instrumental in shaping Botswana’s Diaspora Engagement Policy. Migration, when managed effectively, migration can be a powerful tool for sustainable development, fostering global cooperation and cultural exchange," said Nnamdi Iwuora, Officer-in-Charge, IOM Ghana.
The delegation representatives learnt about the ‘Year of Return’ and ‘Beyond the Return’ diaspora initiatives implemented by the Government of Ghana and the process of the development of the Diaspora Engagement Policy. They also gained a better understanding of some of the good practices, experiences and lessons learnt from Ghana’s engagement with its diaspora.
"Diaspora engagement is not merely a policy; it's a pathway to creating strong, lasting bonds with our compatriots abroad. The Ghanaian diaspora is a cherished asset, contributing not only through remittances but also through knowledge transfer, trade, and investment. Our hope is that this knowledge-sharing mission will provide valuable guidance to Botswana as it shapes its diaspora engagement policies and practices," said Akwasi Awua Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President.
Leveraging the diaspora’s social, cultural, financial and human capital for national development, is a common goal of both governments and will contribute to the attainment of internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Global Compact for Migration.
The Chairperson of the Technical Working Group from Botswana Karabo Mokoto, alluded that: "Our visit to Ghana has been an enlightening experience. We are grateful for the depth of knowledge shared with us. We came to learn from one of the giants when it comes to diaspora engagement, and we are leaving with a wealth of knowledge. This study visit will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in defining Botswana's approach to engaging our diaspora effectively. We have built a lot of networks and we are grateful to know that we can always come back or connect for advice in the future."
The Botswana delegation comprised of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry for State President, Ministry of Trade Industry, Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, Ministry of Communications, Knowledge, and Technology, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Wellness, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, and IOM Botswana.
The study visit catalyzed the strategic partnership between the two countries by enhancing South-South cooperation, spanning across two regions of the African continent, thereby fostering regional integration as stipulated in the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.
The visit was organized within the framework of an IOM Development Fund project which is implemented by IOM in partnership with the Botswana Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other relevant stakeholders.
For more information, please contact:
Daphne Katlego Madisa, Project Assistant at IOM Botswana: Email: email@example.com
Kofi Ofori-Amanfo at IOM Ghana: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org