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.
On Saturday, 11th March 2017, Ghanaian students in Pretoria and Johannesburg held a get-together at the LC de Villers Sports Grounds, University of Pretoria. This event was a follow-up to the Ghana High Commission’s efforts at convincing some of the students to come together and form a Ghanaian Student’s Association.
The purpose of the student’s gathering was therefore to try and organize an Association that will bring the Ghanaian youth in host country together. It was a meet and greet, where people got to know each other whilst having good food and conversations about current affairs and social issues that affect students in South Africa. The event also created a platform for people to network along respective fields of study.
The gathering generated a sense of belonging amongst the students as Ghanaians, and some as South Africans of Ghanaian descent, and they reminisced about Ghana and their trips to the motherland.
The students took the opportunity to concretize plans of forming an Association that would not be limited to social events, but would make an impact in the society by organizing charity events. The prospective Association would serve as a support structure for Ghanaian students and orient them on the general student life in South Africa.
The Ghana High Commission lauds the initiative of our compatriots, and calls on all other Ghanaian students in Pretoria and Johannesburg to join this noble cause, and support efforts at organizing a Provincial/Gauteng Ghana Students Association. Please contact Maame on 0813145940.
Ghana's Honorary Consul to Capetown, Rev. Dr. Micheal Twum Darko, hosted a public lecture on the "life of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah" at 6:00pm on Monday, 6th March 2017, in commemoration of Ghana's 60th Independence Anniversary.
Delivering the lecture was Prof. Kwesi Kwaa Prah, a renowned Ghanaian and African Sociologist and Anthropologist who was a school boy in the days of Ghana's first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and has studied extensively on the life, policy, principles and beliefs of the African legend.
Interlaced, with anecdotes on the seasons and the times, as well as developments thereafter, Prof. Prah enthralled his audience with a renewed understanding of colonialism and neo colonialism, and an insight of the African challenge from an African perspective.
Present at the lectures were the Honorary Consuls of Madagascar, Georgia, Denmark and Maldives to Capetown, the Consul General of Angola to Capetown, Senior Officials from the Office of the Premiere of Western Cape, the Founder and partners of AfriNEAD, Stellenbosch University.
Representing the Ghana High Commission at the event were Mr. Gilbert Sebik, Minister/Trade and Mrs. Elizabeth Sarpomaa Dodoo, Minister-Counsellor/ Information and Diaspora Affairs.
The Ghana High Commission wishes to kindly inform that Monday, 6th March 2017, has been declared a statutory holiday in Ghana, in commemoration of Ghana's 60th Independence Anniversary.
The Mission will therefore be closed on that day. Normal work will resume on Tuesday, 7th March 2017.
The High Commission takes this opportunity to wish compatriots, a joyous Independence Anniversary.