‘Beyond the Return’: Ghana creates investment account, ‘Sankofa Account’ for Diaspora

Ghana’s Ministry of Finance has disclosed that it has created an investment account christened the 'Africa Sankofa Account’ for Africans in the diaspora.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta
  • The Ghanaian government has open an investment account for the diaspora.
  • The account is christened the 'Africa Sankofa Account’ or the ‘Diaspora Savings and Investment Account’.
  • It is aimed at helping drive investment into the country from the Diaspora.
  • The country’s finance minister at a press briefing said the move is a ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative launched by the President of the country.

The move, according to the ministry, is to help drive investment into the country from the Diaspora.

Also known as ‘Diaspora Savings and Investment Account’, the interest accruing banking product is targeted at Africans living abroad, who desire to invest in the Ghanaian economy.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta made the revelation while he spoke at a media briefing in Accra.

He said the account would be operational within the next three months and the ministry is collaborating with universal banks to market the product targeted at institutional and retail investors in the diaspora, raking in about $3 billion.

The minister said MoF would engage the Bank of Ghana and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) to fine-tune how to create the instrument to draw in the funds and how to get the retail impact of the investment account.

He added that through the initiative, the government was creating a favourable environment for Africans in the diaspora to make investment contributions into the economy.

The account, when fully operational, according to the minister, would help ease the integration of the global African family abroad into the society and put Ghana on the map as the preferred investment destination.

“This is to encourage the diaspora to see themselves as Ghanaians when conducting business in Ghana or buying a land," he said.

Mr Ofori Atta explained that although many people in the diaspora had the desire to invest in the economy, the challenge over the years had been how to identify the right products that did not conflict with the country’s securities rules.

As a result, he said, by the new initiative the government was seeking to encourage the full participation of the diaspora through such secure investment products.

“What is important for Ghana is how to create an instrument that enables the average or retail person as a Ghanaian, or Caribbean or African American to participate in a way that doesn’t conflict with securities rules,” Mr Ofori-Atta said.

The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, adding her voice, said the investment product was in line with the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative that was launched by President Nana Akufo-Addo last week, following the successful celebration of the ‘Year of Return’ initiative.

She said the focus of the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative was the help drive investments from the diaspora into the country to help boost the economy.

Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said many people the ministry had engaged so far were interested in making some investment commitments in the country, hence the importance of the ‘Sankofa Account’.

“The account provides an opportunity for even those with limited funds to invest in the country,” the minister said.

She, however, advised the private sector to desist from exploiting the diasporan community who had made a birthright journey home.

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