There appears to be panic and disappointment among some Ghanaian youth who are prospective applicants of the Diversity Lottery Visa Program following an announcement by US President, Donald Trump to terminate the programme.
Donald Trump called for the end of the programme which awards visas to about 50,000 people every year.
According to him, a suspect who carried out a recent terror attack killing eight persons and injuring several others in New York came into the country through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program.
President Trump’s intention for the termination of the program which has provided opportunities to about 100,000 applicants from Africa with Ghana inclusive, has heightened concerns among prospective applicants of the program in Ghana.
Since its inception, over one million immigrants have had the opportunity to be admitted to the United States from across the world.
Applicants from around the world, whether applying alone or with their families, do so with the same aim of trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.
At one of the application centres Citi News visited at Krofrom in Kumasi, Citi News met a 19-year old Senior High School (SHS) leaver, Ibrahim Alhassan.
Growing up, Alhassan has seen poverty after the death of his father, whilst he was only two (2) years old.
His widowed mother singlehandedly looked after him, and now he has completed the Antoa Senior High School.
Alhassan has decided to give the program a try, hoping his luck will shine.
“Since I was a little boy, I lost my father. So I want to work hard and achieve something in the future to cater for my mother. That is why I have come to apply for the Lottery Visa Program maybe I have a chance of winning the lottery so I can travel abroad and one day come to look after her”.
He was confident of his ability to make a living in a foreign land where he knows no one.
“I have done a lot of work here in Ghana. I have even gone into waste collection, I have been a conductor and I am now a mechanic. So working in America will not be a difficult task since the working conditions there and here are not the same”.
Apart from Alhassan, there were a number of anxious young people at the centre with similar ambitions in their quest to travel abroad through the program.
One of these applicants who is applying for the eighth time, said “I have come to register for the America lottery 2017. The living conditions in Ghana are not all that good. Though I work for a private company, but the salary they give me is very low. So I have the intention of going abroad to get a well-paid job to take care of myself and my family”.
But Mr. Trump’s sudden announcement borne out of one incident involving a terrorist who came into the state through the programme has rather brought disappointment to young people like Alhassan, who troop the Visa Lottery registration centres every day.
The operator of the registration centre who preferred to remain unnamed also feared he will be rendered jobless if the program is terminated.
“When I heard that the program was going to be terminated, I felt unhappy because this has been the job I have done since I completed Senior High School four years ago, and I was not able to continue because of money.”
Should the directive be adhered to, leading to the termination of the Visa Lottery program, the hopes of young Africans who want to seek a better life abroad through the program will be dashed.
1.7 million Ghanaians applied for US visa lottery in 2015
About 1.7 million Ghanaians applied for the US visa lottery in 2015.
The number, which is the highest from a single country represented 12% of the total 14 million people who applied within that year.