Ghana's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey (MP), paid a historic visit to the Ghanaian Community of South Africa on Monday, 13th March, 2017.
The visit was in the backdrop of xenophobic attacks in South Africa in February, and the Honourable Minister had deemed it necessary to personally visit and interact with compatriots in the country.
Upon arrival in South Africa around mid-day, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey held a meeting with her South African counterpart, H.E. Ms. Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to discuss and address some of the issues relating to the recent xenophobic attacks.
Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey then undertook a tour of Sunny Side, a suburb of Pretoria, where a lot of Ghanaian-owned businesses and rented accommodation are located. She interacted with her fellow nationals, and got first-hand assessment of their welfare in South Africa.
In the evening, the Honourable Minister joined a high-level panel of senior officials from the South African Department of Home Affairs and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, for an Open Forum organized by the Ghana High Commission at the premises of the Mission.
The Forum was very well attended by Ghanaians across South Africa, who were eager to interact with the Hon. Minister, and also took advantage of the presence of senior officials of the South African Government to obtain responses and clarification on pertinent issues relating to immigration and xenophobia.
Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey thereafter addressed the teeming crowd of Ghanaians and assured them of measures undertaken by the Government of Ghana, under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to lighten the burden of Ghanaians and to ensure their welfare both at home and abroad. She took note of some of the peculiar challenges facing Ghanaians in South Africa, and assured them of necessary assistance, where possible.
She further encouraged Ghanaians to join and consolidate Ghanaian Associations in their various provinces, so as to project an organized and united group that can work effectively with the Ghana High Commission and by extension the Government of Ghana, to resolve challenges and also contribute to the development of our beloved country.
It was indeed a back to back schedule of activities for the Honourable Minister, who had purposefully dedicated the one-day working visit to her compatriots in South Africa…. a very successful visit, which will resound for many years to come.