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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Columnist: Asare-Donkoh, Frankie

RE: “Parliamentary sub-committee interacts with Ghanaians in the Diaspora

I wish to correct some misleading and erroneous information in the story you published on Monday, September 20 under the headline “Parliamentary sub-committee interacts with Ghanaians in the Diaspora”.

In the first place, the Parliamentary sub-committee did not meet Ghanaians in the United Kingdom. Rather, the sub-committee met Ghanaians living in England (if not London). The United Kingdom is made up of four constituent nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and therefore it is wrong for anybody or group of Ghanaians living in London to claim to represent everybody living in the UK when those living outside London, in most cases, are never informed about such gatherings or activities concerning Ghanaians.

Since the arrival of the current High Commissioner, H. E. Prof. Danso Boafo, there have been a number of activities which have taken place in London, including meetings with members of Ghana’s Executive with some Ghanaians in London, without anybody making any attempt to inform those of us living outside London.

For the benefit of readers, there are Ghanaians living in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in addition to those living in England, yet in most instances Ghanaians in London are those invited to functions organised by the Ghana High Commission to the detriment of the many Ghanaians living outside of England. Sometimes, even Ghanaians living outside of London are never informed about such important activities.

In the case of Wales, we have had a Union (Ghana Union of Wales) since August 2005. The Ghana High Commission cannot claim that it is not aware of the existence of the Union because there had been several forms of communication between the Union and the High Commission for which I am sure there are records at the High Commission to show.

It is also on record that the former High Commissioner, H.E. Anan Caito, visited Cardiff (capital of Wales) and held a fruitful meeting with Ghanaians there on the 10th of February 2007. I am not sure the Ghana High Commission can claim that there are no records on the High Commissioner’s visit to Cardiff in its possession. The High Commission therefore has no excuse for not informing the Ghanaians in Wales about the activities it has organised for Ghanaians so far.

For this and other reasons, it is very erroneous for anyone to claim that the sub-committee met representatives of Ghanaians in the UK, when in fact the sub-committee, according to my information only met Ghanaians living in London.

It must also be pointed out that there is no single union or association for Ghanaians living in the UK as at now. Rather there are a number of unions and associations in different parts of the UK and until such unions and associations in the four constituent nations making up the UK are brought together as an omnibus group for the whole of the UK, it sounds deceitful and pretentious for anyone to present themselves as representing Ghanaians in the UK.

What I would at this juncture wish to suggest to the Ghana High Commission to do as a matter of urgency is that, it must take steps to send staff to visit each of the three other nations and interact with Ghanaians there. After all, the High Commission is not meant to cater for Ghanaians living in London alone. I have read about the visit of the High Commissioner, H.E. Prof. Danso Boafo to Scotland where a consulate was opened, but he has not yet visited Wales while I am not aware that he has visited Northern Ireland.
If for some reasons, including tight schedules, he personally cannot visit the other nations, I am sure he has adequate staff to undertake such visits on his behalf. At least, this would afford him the opportunity of learning about the problems Ghanaians living in those nations were facing, and help solve those within the mission’s means to solve.

Thank you.

Dr. Frankie Asare-Donkoh
Immediate-past President
Ghana Union of Wales