GHANA – The government of Ghana through its Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta has announced plans to establish a Diaspora Savings and Investment Account to attract people of African American descent to invest in the various sectors of the country.

Dubbed the African Sankofa Account, the plan, which is to be rolled out in the next three months, will explore ways to target investments from African investors in the Caribbean and the Americas.

The move is to build on the successes of the year of return, which marked 400 years of slavery, and to enable people in the diaspora look to Ghana as a major destination for investments.

“There is going to be quite a number of meetings between the Ministry, the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre to discuss how to get the retail impact of this investment account,” Mr Ofori-Atta told a media briefing in Accra.

“Our expectation is that we could attract about US$3 billion, the same level as remittances currently in a period of a year or two,” the Minister added.

Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the plan to establish the account was in line with the vision of the Ministry to engage more with the people in the diaspora.

She said the Ministry had investment engagement discussions with people who visited the country on the investment opportunities during the year of return.

“But we also recognized that, not all of them have the capacity to make huge investments.

Some of them are also available to make little contributions and I believe this Accounts is going to give opportunity to everybody to make an investment into Ghana and into Africa,” added Mrs Oteng-Gyasi.

The program also ties in with the Beyond the Return agenda, which has seven major pillars, including; investment by giving opportunity to the global African family to invest in a bond or any other investment vehicle that the Ministry of Finance deemed appropriate.

Mr Akwasi Ababio, the Director of Diasporan Affairs at the office of the President, said the Beyond the Return initiative recently launched by the President had three key pillars out of the seven focused on investment via real estate, investment products and development of the country’s heritage tourism infrastructure.

If successful, the finance minister said Ghana could use the account as a vehicle for the issue of Diasporan bonds in future.