Thanks for the opportunity to also contribute to this matter and specifically to respond to some of the issues raised by David Allotey in his rejoinder to the VP�s call on �willing� Ghanaians to come home.
I used �willing� because it is a fact that not all would want to come back even if the opportunity exists or the conditions some look forward to are available to them. Indeed, in one of the TV news clips capturing the VPs engagement with the Ghanaian community, he stated that he is not asking all Ghanaians abroad to come home, but those who truly desire to do so.
He went ahead to advise them that the processing of returning must be well considered, planned and finally executed after probably a couple of visits and/or determining what you�ll be doing back home.
And I guess there abound numerous examples of persons who have so returned home with a good plan and despite what will be said are the �systemic bottlenecks� have succeeded. And there are those who came with no plan, or the plans were not well considered and failed.
Having said that therefore, I am not sure what a Vice President�s fault will be in a meeting with his fellow countrymen and women to encourage especially those who have garnered considerable experience in various fields to consider bringing the expertise home either in the setting up and management of their own businesses and or taking up employment in various public and private organistions, provided that satisfies their personal aspirations.
What therefore is hypocritical about that call, David?
If you do not have anything to return home to do, probably and just probably others might have something to come and do. I get the impression that you assume rather sadly that because you are returning from abroad, whatever you bring or come and say must be received and without any proper consideration implemented for you with government funds or support.
In any case, in calling for Ghanaians abroad to come home, it does not suggest that those back home have no ideas of their own. Come and conduct proper enquiries and you�ll be amazed at the ideas many young people in this country have and are implementing and tapping into available opportunities.
You talk of many groups coming with investment proposals. And they did not see any investment opportunities in Ghana to put their money in? They did not get any areas to go into? Then probably they did not conduct their feasibility studies well, with a clear idea of what investments they want to make. Because an investor with funds will not lack in finding an investment area, and the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre, and not necessarily the Minister of State, will be more than willing to assist. Or in Maryland you have to see the Commerce Secretary or any other in the United States before you can set up a business?
While I know there are some genuine cases of people who have come to Ghana with some documented proposals and indicated that they failed to meet the Minister or s/he was not receptive to their proposals, I do not think that is enough basis to say it is because one does not bear a certain surname.
Using the lessons and examples of the West, a reliance on our institutions especially the GIPC and others will help in getting our country to do what we all say are the best ways of doing things rather than over glorification of political patronage.
You may personally, David, have to review whatever proposal you have and if you intend to have government fund it, or purchase whatever product or service you are bringing or have a contract awarded to you or your group, consider the procurement processes in place here, review the country�s budget and programme of action among others in order to determine the priorities of the government.
Not everybody waited for a government in which they had a relation to start a business, and not the least of them, my personal friend Ibrahim Mahama who you mention in your piece. It is clear that you do not even know the young man, or if you did, you just went after him in your haste to crucify his brother the VP.
Cost of Living?
If you care to know, Ibrahim was into business, and a successful one at that, working for PRIVATE FIRMS before his brother, the hardworking John Mahama who the President is happy to have as VP was sworn into office. If you have a company or personal experience in the business of servicing mining companies, I am sure these firms, (which are all private firms, and accept proposals during their tendering processes) will welcome a good competition aimed at getting the best for their firms. So if you can compete with Ibrahim�s well established firm, go challenge him. It is not government that got those businesses for Ibrahim and the government will not do same for any firm.
Speaking for a personal friend Ibrahim, he has not secured any government contract, let alone a government-mining contract, so spare us your jealous vituperations.
Was it your inability to pay a 10% kickback that made it impossible for you to invest your hard earned cash from America in Ghana? You just throw dirt at people without basis, all because you hate or have a problem with one man�s advise to his fellow countrymen.
Has America found jobs for all its geologists and physicists and for that matter all its graduates? I am sure that Government need not pretend that Ghana has an unemployment situation, but there is also evidence that once a lot more private businesses set up and expand as the economy continues to improve, there will be more opportunities for our graduates. That is why you are being encouraged to also come and start something, and engage some of the capable hands we have.
In recounting what you claim are the bitter experiences of some Ghanaian investors from abroad, I advice that they also learn from other �returnees� how they went about their return. There are lots of examples.
�Any single day spent in Ghana is a cost to us.� That presupposes that it is not a cost to you when you stay in America. Good.
Source: Stanislav Dogbe Accra- Ghana Email: [email protected]
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