As part of plans to encourage more people from the diaspora to attend the 2019 “Year of Return” in Ghana, the Government of Ghana has reduced visa fees on arrival.
The initial fee of $150 will drop to $75 to allow many people participate in the activities hallmarking the event. This was made known by the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Charles Owiredu when he spoke to the Diplomatic Corps on the plans government is undertaking to make the year-long programme a success.
He said, “Our Missions’ abroad are liaising with Ghanaians associations, airlines, etc to work and make it relatively easy and convenient for those travelling to Ghana to participate in the programmes of “The Year of Return, Ghana 2019.”
He said: “The Government of Ghana is also in the process of working to have visa agreements with some countries such as those in the Caribbean where the Diaspora total number is quite significant. ”
This year, for instance, the government of Ghana and Jamaica established a visa-free agreement where nationals of each of the two countries do not need a visa to travel to the countries,” he added.
Earlier this year, President of Ghana, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo announced 2019 as “The Year of Return” which also marks 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown,Virginia. It is a somber recognition of the evil that befell Ghana’s past inhabitants and their descendants and the strength with which they’ve faced it.
The deputy minister also pointed out that the event also was in line with the President vision of building a “Ghana Beyond Aid” as such the involvement of the Diaspora remained a strategic development plan of this government.
“With its democratic credentials, rule of law and the stability of the country, Ghana intended to serve as a pacesetter for welcoming their own back to their roots and to provide for assimilating them into the Ghanaian society in particular and African societies in general,” he emphasized.