Officials of the Ghana High Commission, led by the High Commissioner, H.E. Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, over the weekend of 21st and 23rd October, 2016, virtually moved the entire Consular Section to the door step of Ghanaians in Mthatha, Kokstad and the northern regions in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
The outreach exercise was aimed at alleviating the transportation, boarding and lodging expenses that Ghanaians in South Africa incur, when they are compelled to travel to the High Commission in Pretoria to apply for biometric passports.
The Executives and Members of the Ghanaian Associations in Mthatha and Kokstad, as well as it’s cell groups across the northern regions, were overly excited at the arrival of the High Commission team and the much-cherished opportunity to apply and process their biometric passports from the comfort and convenience of their cities.
As part of the exercise, town hall meetings were held on Saturday, 22nd October, and Sunday, 23rd October at Mthatha and Kokstad respectively. At both meetings, the Ghanaians marveled at the fact that it was the first time that any High Commissioner of Ghana had visited them and were ecstatic at the presence of His Excellency, Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi. Ghanaians in those cities turned up in their numbers to be part of what they termed “history in the making”.
Addressing the Ghanaians, High Commissioner Ahwoi expressed his delight to meet with them and encouraged them to foster closer relations amongst themselves, and invite others to join the various Ghanaian Associations in their cities. He explained that this would facilitate the Mission’s communication lines and interaction with Ghanaians in the Eastern Cape Province. He intimated that it was the Mission’s policy to encourage the formation and strengthening of Ghanaian Associations, in the context of the Ghana Government’s Diaspora Policy.
High Commissioner Ahwoi revealed that Ghana’s High Commission in South Africa was the first Ghana Mission Abroad to undertake such an outreach exercise using the mobile-pack component of the biometric processing machine, to the benefit of Ghanaians living outside the capital city of host countries. He also noted that the exercise was yet again a demonstration of the High Commission’s commitment to the People of Ghana, wherever they may be located.
Similar successful exercises had taken place in Capetown and Swaziland, a couple of months ago, and others are scheduled to take place in Botswana, Gabon, Durban, and a second exercise in Capetown before the end of the year 2016.
Other members of the Mission’s delegation to the Eastern Cape Province were Mr. Edward Cofie, Head of Consular Section; Mrs. Elizabeth Dodoo, Minister-Counsellor/Information and Diaspora Affairs; Mr. Felix Nyarku, Head of Chancery; Mr. Percy Swanzy, Consular Officer; and Mr. Alfred Mensah, IT Specialist.