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General News of Wednesday, 25 August 2021


Automatic citizenship was one of the misnomers in the year of return - Diallo Sumbry

A number of people from the diaspora participated in the Year of Return in 2019 play videoA number of people from the diaspora participated in the Year of Return in 2019

• The Year of Return happened in 2019 and is touted as a great success

• A diasporan currently living in Ghana says it was a misnomer for the government to offer automatic citizenship to people

• Diallo Sumbry wants people to earn those statuses

The Year of Return remains one of the initiatives of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government that is touted among its biggest achievements but a Diasporan living in Ghana believes one of its components was not the right one.

According to Diallo Sumbry, the Chief Executive Officer of The Adinkra Group, the aspect of the Year of Return that gave people from the diaspora automatic citizenships was its greatest misnomer.

Speaking on GhanaWeb TV’s current affairs and socio-political program, The Lowdown, he explained that while the initiative went well, that ideology, in his estimation, was not the most well-thought-out.

“One of the misnomers of the Year of Return was that Ghana was going that you automatically got citizenship; that you were going to receive Ghanaian passports when you came for the Year of Return. Wrong, wrong, wrong. No country can do that. Every country has a Ministry or a Department of Foreign Affairs, has got a constitution, I mean, it takes a minute,” he said.

Diallo Sumbry, who is also an author, explained that although he does not dislike the idea entirely, the practice around the world where citizenship statuses are handed down to people through certain procedures should have been the case here as well.

“Now, the president has the ability to gift, at will, citizenship, through an executive order and which is how the two groups of Diasporan Africans got their passports in Ghana. One was with the previous president in 2016 and with the incumbent president, His Excellency Nana Addo in 2019.

“I think it was important for him to do that in 2019 which gave the Year of Return some meaning and feeling beyond the Akwaaba ‘You are welcome’,” he explained.

This week’s edition of The Lowdown discussed the subject, Ghana’s Role in Diaspora Homecoming, Heritage Tourism.

It airs every Monday on GhanaWeb TV on YouTube.

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