‘Beyond the Return’: We’re one people, visit home – Shirley Botchwey

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has entreated Africans in the diaspora to seize the opportunity offered by the recently Commissioned ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative of the Government of Ghana which is aimed at fostering economic, trade and investment relations between Ghana and all people of African descent across the globe.

The 10-year strategic plan is believed to be government’s attempt to build on the dividends of an earlier campaign dubbed ‘Year of Return which was declared in 2019 and recorded over 750,000 arrivals into the country, generating income for Ghana to the tune of 1.9 billion U.S dollars.

However, speaking at the closing ceremony of the 1st session of the Ghana – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines permanent joint commission for cooperation In Accra on the 14th February, 2020, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey noted that

“As I am sure you are well aware, the “Beyond the Return” is a 10-year strategic plan aimed at building on the dividends of the ‘Year of Return which was declared in 2019. We hope that the initiative would not only promote tourism and homecoming of Africans and Ghanaians in the diaspora, but would also foster economic, trade and investment relations between Ghana and all people of African descent across the globe. As you depart Ghana, therefore, we trust that you would be champions of this initiative in the Caribbean”.

Over the 4-day (Feb.11-14, 2020) period the permanent joint commission deliberated on a wide range of areas including agriculture, fisheries, aviation, tourism, arts and culture, health and investment, which according to the minister are, undoubtedly, sectors that are “critical” to the development and prosperity of the two countries.

The 2nd Session of the permanent joint commission will be held in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in 2022.