President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Wednesday opened the Ghana Diaspora Celebration and Third Homecoming Summit, with an assurance that the government would soon place before Parliament a bill that would allow Ghanaians with dual citizenship to hold public office.
“The question of the political rights of dual citizens is a matter for Parliament and an opportunity is going to be provided soon Parliament to address this issue,” he told the gathering, which included African and Ghanaian Diasporans in Accra.
The summit was part of the Year of Return to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first 20 West African slaves in the United States.
Tracing the contribution of Diasporans to their home countries all over the world, the President expressed excitement at the decision fo the Office of Diaspora Engagement Policy Bill.
He explained that the bill would deal effectively with all matters affecting overseas Ghanaians, noting that beyond the remittances they send back, they have a crucial role to play towards the growth and development of the country.
He said he expected the bill to be brought before the Cabinet to be worked on expeditiously and laid before Parliament.
He gave the example of China, with an immigration population of 60 million, considered the 25th largest country in the world, with assets worth more than $2.5 trillion, adding that in the 1970s when foreign companies reduced their investments in China, t was the Chinese Diaspora that shored up the economy of that country.
Quoting from the Washington DC-based Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the President said half of the foreign direct investments of $426 billion that transformed China into a manufacturing powerhouse in the 1990s originated from the Chinese Diaspora.