Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency (HE) Dr. Barfour Adjei-Barwuah has addressed Ghanaians in the United States (US) and the diaspora on issues including them registration [to vote] with respective embassies, filth in Ghana, import duties and among others, land-acquisition disputes. This happened during his June 2, 2018 visit to Sankofa radio in Woodbridge, Virginia.
HE Dr. Barfour Adjei-Barwuah was hosted by Wofa Yaw Agarko Appea on Sankofa Radio’s ‘Susubribi Ma Wo Man’ show which airs on Saturdays at 10 AM-12: 30 PM. This was the first time an ambassador has paid a visit to the Ghanaian radio station based in Woodbridge, Virginia. He was interviewed in the Akan language.
On Representation of the People’s Amendment Law (ROPAL), the ambassador reiterated that for ROPAL to be successfully implemented, Ghanaians abroad must ensure that they have registered with their respective embassies, wherever they may be outside Ghana. He added that Ghanaians must drop the misconception that registering with the embassy can land them into trouble based on their immigration statuses.
“As at today, I have no idea of the number of Ghanaians in the US. We need this data to be able to plan for the successful implementation of ROPAL and to also have a working and readily available roster in times of emergency,” said Ambassador Adjei-Barwuah.
Continuing to plead with every Ghanaian on the matter, the Ambassador explained that embassies are the “last defense walls” of help in times of emergency and other needs, hence the need to register is not only for voting purposes.
Clarifying whether a dual-citizen can register to vote, the Ambassador pointed out that “all are welcome to register themselves, we actually also want to encourage those born here [in the US] to assume Ghanaian citizenship to help in the development of their country of origin.”
According to the Ambassador if everyone registered there would be a rooster of specific variations catering to all kinds of matters, plus, “we will have easy access to you when needed,” he added. He, however, pointed out that, It’s not the embassy’s duty to enforce immigration rules: “it is our duty to protect the rights of every Ghanaian in the United States regardless of their immigration status.”
On the issue of filth in Ghana, he encouraged Ghanaians to take full responsibility for their actions in a bid to keep a cleaner environment and society. A call for active supervision and enforcement of environmental rules in the country was also made.
On import duties, the Ambassador said the perceived notion that they are high is relative, the specifics of which are not well founded. He cited that most of the duties and taxes collected at the ports go towards the development of infrastructures such as roads.
Land litigation involving Ghanaians abroad purchasing lands and properties in Ghana could be prevented the Ambassador if care is taken with land-acquisition. As he spoke on the matter the Ambassador cautioned all to do proper background investigations before purchasing. There are untrustworthy people all over he said; therefore a small level of diligence on the part of purchasers can go a long way to curb this nuisance.
Callers that phoned the radio station to interact with the Ambassador commended his work at the embassy. The Embassy of Ghana in Washington DC can be reached online at www.ghanaembassydc.org.
Sankofa radio is a subsidiary of Sankofa Media Group LLC that seeks to cater to the evolving needs of its listeners and viewers in the US and the larger diaspora. Find out more about them at sankofaradio.com
Below is a snippet video from the interview:
Source: Oral Ofori