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Diasporia News of Thursday, 29 May 2008

Source: Ghanaian Times

US Lottery Is Slavery: Spio-Garbrah

The Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO), Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, has described the annual Green Card Lottery, operated by the American government as an "enlightened modern slavery" to fill US labour shortages. He has therefore called on the government to take a closer look at it as it is denying the country of its trained human resource.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah was delivering a lecture on the theme, "Ghana’s future: An e-agenda for human resource development (a modern term strategy with focus on education and health as e-solutions to Ghana’s growth)" at the British Council in Accra on Tuesday. The lecture was organised by the Ghana Renewal Institute and supported by the Centre for e-governance and the African Cancer Organisation.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah said as a former Ambassador of Ghana to the US, he protested and opposed this form of exploitation. Dr. Spio-Garbrah, who had lived in the US for 18 years, said he was not against emigration but argued that from the point of view of national development, the practice was not in the best interest of the country. For the country to be able to harness its resources for national development, he proposed the establishment and development of a ‘Global Network of Ghanaian Professionals’, which he explained, will ensure that the country gets a database of all its professionals in every part of the world to contribute their experience in their various expertise to the development of the country.

"It is sad that the country is not monitoring its most important assets as we cannot tell exactly the percentage of our experts and where they are," he complained. "Ghana has a bright future and so we must exploit fully its human resource," he added. Dr Spio-Garbrah said Ghana’s human resource, numbering about three million across the globe are among the best in the world and mentioned in particular world organisations such as the World Bank, the Commonwealth, African Development Bank and the UN System as areas where Ghanaians are among the most creative.

He called for investment in the country’s human resource to ensure that Ghana has the appropriate resource to enhance development and set targets for heads of the educational institutions regarding the number of professionals required to be trained every year and in which areas. The President of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Leticia Obeng, said the country’s human resource was key to national development and called for prompt action to harness the resource, saying such a move is vital to national development.

The chairman for the occasion, Professor Clifford Nii Boi Tagoe, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said a country that puts value on its ICT development is on its way to national development and stated that an effort in the e-agenda is extremely important and must be embraced by all.

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