The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has appealed to the heads of diplomatic missions in Ghana to take bold steps to advice their governments back home to arrest those who would be found culpable of maltreating Ghanaians abroad.
She said the time had come for Ghanaians to feel protected outside the country, as the objective of the Nana Akufo-Addo-led government is to use diplomacy to give enhanced protection for citizens abroad. According to her: “An attack on any Ghanaian anywhere, is an attack on the sovereignty of Ghana.”
The Minister made this assertion yesterday, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she met the heads of the diplomatic missions in Accra.
The meeting was an interactive session with the heads of diplomatic missions from the Asia, Pacific and Middle-East regions. She reiterated the government’s key focus, which is to build one factory in each district, one dam in one village, within a broader objective of making the agriculture sector become the bedrock of our economy.
To achieve this objective, the Minister stated that Ghana would need the support of the diplomatic heads in seeking new markets for Ghanaian products in their various countries, and in marketing the country as an ideal and safe investment destination.
“Secondly, our objective is to use diplomacy to give enhanced protection for our citizens abroad. After all, an attack on any Ghanaian anywhere, is an attack on the sovereignty of Ghana. This point must be stressed, as we continue to receive reports of abuse of our citizens who are recruited by job agents to go to work in some Gulf States,” she said.
Mad Ayorkor Botchwey told the leaders that this is an issue they must openly confront in an honest and contrite manner. She further noted that they must not only strongly condemn them, (the maltreatments), but take practical and urgent steps to address them.
“In that connection, we wish to appeal to you all to take bold steps to arrest these unfortunate developments of the maltreatment of Ghanaian labour migrants in your various countries.
“We demand that those found culpable should face the legal consequences to serve as a deterrent to others. We are very confident that your governments will not condone such unlawful actions.
“Therefore, if we can work collectively to stem this negative trend, Ghanaians will no longer live with the wrong perception that countries in the Gulf Region are notorious places for maltreatment of hired migrant labour.”
In conclusion, she urged the heads of diplomatic missions to work assiduously with the Ghana government to achieve these two key objectives: first, “to leverage the goodwill, democratic credentials, and respect of our country, to attract development/business partners to help realise our desire for faster economic growth, job creation and sustainable development, on the back of a revamped agricultural sector;
“And secondly, to ensure the fair treatment of all our citizens who are recruited to undertake menial jobs in your various countries.”
On the other hand, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, emphasised the effect of illegal mining activities in the country, most of which are being championed by some foreigners, while stating the government’s willingness to clamp down on such activities.
Through a 10-minute documentary on illegal mining, in which some Chinese were seen actively doing illegal mining, the Minister called on the heads of diplomatic missions to help the government put a stop to that, as its effects are devastating.
Source: Maxwell Ofori || The Chronicle