STOP BEGGING Let’s Make Africa Great – Nana

President Akufo-Addo in handshake with United States Vice President Kamala Haris


PRESIDENT AKUFO-Addo says the time has come for the diasporan community to help change the often skewed and negative perception about the African continent.

The perception of the continent from the diaspora, has often been that of disease, hunger, poverty and illegal mass migration.

However, speaking at the Young African and Diasporan Leaders’ Summit held on the sidelines of the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, the President said “the urgent responsibility we face is to make our countries and our continent attractive for our people to see them as places of opportunities.”

History, he said, was replete with several examples of the positive impact of diasporan communities on the growth and development of countries, through increased trade activities, rising investments, and the transfer of skills and knowledge.

He mentioned the case of China which has a diasporan population of sixty million people who were said to be the 25th largest country in the world, who, according to the Nikkei Asian Review, owned assets worth US$2.5 trillion.

“When foreign companies in the late 1970s, reduced their investments in China, it was the Chinese Diaspora which shored up the economy. According to the Washington D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute (MPI), half of the foreign direct investments, about US$26 billion which transformed China into a manufacturing powerhouse in the 1990s, originated from the Chinese Diaspora,” he added.

That, according to the President, was the rationale behind the “Beyond the Return” initiative by the Government of Ghana, which, he explained, was building on the considerable success of the “Year of Return”, and the renewed enthusiasm around building Africa together.

He, thus, urged young African and diasporan leaders to help change the African narrative, which has largely focused on disease, hunger, poverty and illegal mass migration.

“Let us all remember that the destiny of all black people, no matter where they are in the world, is bound up with Africa. We should never forget that the famous admonition of the celebrated Jamaican reggae star, Peter Tosh, when he said: ‘Don’t care where you come from. As long as you’re a black man, you’re an African’,” President Akufo-Addo said.

Apart from that, he said, “We must help make Africa the place for investment, progress and prosperity, and not from where our youth flee with the hope of accessing the mirage of a better life in Europe, Asia or the Americas. That is what “Beyond the Return” seeks to do; so we can derive maximum dividends from our relations with the Diaspora, in mutually beneficial co-operation, and as partners for shared growth and development.”

With the second half of the 20th century witnessing a great blow for human freedom and progress, when the African people, in the wake of Ghana’s shining example, liberated themselves from the colonial and imperialist yoke and the racist ideology of apartheid, the President was confident that the first half of the 21st century would consolidate such development, and see the growth of modern, prosperous, technologically-advanced nations, within a united Africa, which would make reality of the dream of the 21st century as the African century, and bring dignity as well as respect to black people all over the world.

“We have done enough talking, and, dare I say, we have had enough conferences and workshops. We know what we need to do. It is time just to do it. We have run out of excuses for the state of our continent. We have the manpower, we should have the political will, it is time to make Africa work,” he added.

Present at the event was US Vice President, Kamala Harris.