South – South Cooperation: Governments of Ghana and Eswatini Discuss Boosting Diasporas’ Contribution to Local Development

Published Date: 
Wed, 06/23/2021 - 21:30
Country: 
Ghana

 

Accra – From 7 to 11 June 2021, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) facilitated a technical visit of a delegation from the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini (GoE) 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 Eswatini Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and other relevant stakeholders, to support the Government of Eswatini in enhancing its engagement with the Emaswati in the diaspora to reap their potential for social and economic development of the country.

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. Both Governments acknowledge the importance of harnessing the valuable potential of its diaspora for national development.

“The resilience of Ghanaian migrants has been commended amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Abibatou Wane-Fall, Chief of Mission of IOM Ghana. “The diaspora is a critical group in supporting the national recovery effort thanks to the remittances they send back home and the investments they make. The diaspora contributed 3.6bn USD in remittances to the Ghanaian economy in 2020, equating more than 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

The delegation met with officials from IOM Ghana; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Reintegration; Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President (DAOOP); Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations; Ministry of Finance; 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.

The delegation representatives learnt about the ‘Year of Return’ diaspora initiative implemented by the Government of Ghana in 2019 and gained a better understanding of some of the good practices, experiences and lessons learnt from Ghana’s engagement with its diaspora.

Head of the Delegation, Jennifer Neves, Under Secretary – Administration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said: “We came to learn from one of the giants when it comes to diaspora engagement, and we are leaving with a wealth of knowledge. We have built networks and we are grateful to know that we can come back for advice in the future. With Government in the driving seat, we are confident that we can bring to life what we have on paper.”

The Eswatini delegation comprised of officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Agriculture, Central Bank Eswatini, Royal Eswatini Police Services, CANGO, SWAMMIWA, Business Eswatini, as well as two IOM Eswatini officials and IOM Regional Thematic Specialist, Jason Theede, based in Pretoria.

The study visit catalyzed the strategic partnership between the two countries by enhancing their South-South cooperation relationship, 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 Eswatini Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and other relevant stakeholders.

For more information, please contact Thembie Matsenjwa (Project Assistant) at IOM Eswatini Tel: +26876964378 Email: tmatshenjwa@iom.int; and Eric Kwame Akomanyi at IOM Ghana Email: eakomanyi@iom.int