The lovely team at Future of Ghana invited me to attend a filming of An Audience with Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Mrs. Hanna Tetteh
The intimate session was filmed live for Vox Africa’s Focus on Ghana Television Show. Discussions were around the development of Ghana and opportunities that exist for the Diaspora to capitalise on and engage with the Ghanaian government on. Mrs Tetteh responded to a number of questions including the issues of “Dumsor” (power shortages) and the energy sector, tourism, passport regulations and economic opportunities for members of the Ghanaian Diaspora.
|The Ghana High Commission|
Hanna Tetteh referenced a number of key issues including the willingness of Ghanaian nationals to invest in high growth sectors like mining and the importance of keeping perspective when comparing overseas governmental & economic structures with those of Ghana. Her points resonated, as many of her key points can be mirrored for other West African nations. I was particularly interested in her point about formal vs informal employment, informal employment being high in Ghana and thus impacting on tax revenues for the government. There is much to be said about this, members of the African diaspora may often compare their home nations to their nations of origin but often forget to put things in perspective. The UK for example is built on fixed tax systems and requires that revenue to maintain the very creature comforts that we often take for granted and that is because formal employment is higher, measured and taxes are collected.
|Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Mrs. Hanna Tetteh (Image via @Hanna Tetteh)|
Her department is keen to engage with the Ghanaian Diaspora and so I would encourage my counterparts to get involved and hold Mrs Tetteh to account where possible.
It goes without saying the people were extremely passionate about the issue of energy with one question being about the use of solar power as an alternative, clearly Hanna Tetteh is not the Energy Minister of Ghana and as a member of parliament her responses were clearly very measured so this issue still needs further insight, perhaps from another government representative. Overall it was a good event which I hope will be replicated by other government representatives from across Africa.