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Government would ensure implementation of ROPAL- President assures Diaspora

By Ken
Sackey, GNA

Accra, July 5, GNA – President Nana Addo
Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured Ghanaians in the Diaspora of his government’s
determination to provide the needed funding to enable the Electoral Commission
(EC) to implement the Representation of the Peoples Amendment Law (ROPAL) in
future elections.

He said to enable Ghanaians everywhere to
exercise their franchise, “Government will engage the Chairperson of the
EC to ensure that whatever is needed to bring the law into effect is
done.”

President Akufo-Addo gave the assurance when
he opened the Diaspora Homecoming Summit 2017 in Accra on Wednesday.  

The Summit, which is a direct initiative of
the Akufo-Addo Administration, seeks to engage and harness the Diaspora
community’s potentials to invest in the vast opportunities and possibilities
and actively participate in the transformation of Ghana.

ROPAL, a law that seeks to provide opportunity
for Ghanaians living abroad to participate in general elections, was passed by
Parliament 12 years ago but the EC has not been able to implement it due to
inadequate resources.

President Akufo-Addo said though a group was
challenging the EC in court over the implementation of the ROPAL, government
would wait patiently for the outcome of the suit.

Emphasising the critical role and invaluable
contributions that Ghanaian in the Diaspora played in the economy of Ghana,
President Akufo-Addo said government would expand opportunities for Ghanaians
living abroad to enable them to participate in national discourse and the
development of the country.

He also assured the Diaspora community that
government would revisit the law that prevented Ghanaians with dual citizenship
from holding public offices.

President Akufo-Addo said his administration
took the decision to move the Office of the Diasporan Relations from the
Foreign Affairs Ministry to the seat of Government to enable it to effectively
coordinate the affairs of the Ghanaian community outside the country and better
engage them.

He said as government was accountable to them
owing to their contribution to the economic fortunes of the country.

President Akufo-Addo said his government was
developing a policy framework to enable the country to harness effectively the
skills and competencies of Ghanaians living outside the country to transform
the economy in line with his vision.

He said he would ensure that the Diaspora
Community participated fully and benefited from the opportunities that Ghana
had to offer, and appealed to all Ghanaians to assist governments to bring to
reality the dream of improving the quality of life in the country and build a
country beyond aid.

“Everyone in and out the country has a
significant role to play to position the country on the path of progress. Our
economy over the years has been dependent on the production of raw materials
which cannot provide decent and sustainable jobs,” he said.

President Akufo-Addo noted that the ambitious
programme government had put in place would stimulate growth, create jobs,
lower the cost of doing business, and make Ghana the most business friendly
economy in Africa.

“We have a clear vision of where we want
to take the country and we have presented a clear and detailed plan of how we
will get there. We have a bright future ahead and I am certain that we will
transform Ghana,” he said.

GNA

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