Thursday, 14 June 2012

leading from a distance: the role of the High Commission

The second question of the MFGDebate was "the role of the Ghana High Commission in the UK?", which taking from the twitter feed was a heated debate. It seems not many people know what the GHHCUK does, or what it's here for.

I agree completely with this. I think the High Commission should do more to promote young achieving Ghanaians. For example when Edwin Broni-Mensah became the UK's best top graduate according to powerlist media, the Ghana High Commission had a chance there to parade him as a product of Ghanaian values for younger Ghanaians to emulate, but also they should have been first to help him with his GiveMeTap idea; using connections and reputation that the High Commission has to support Edwin. I think the GHHCUK should be a useful tool for young Ghanaians. Give them work experience so they can have a reputable employer on their CV. Help them if they decide they want to relocate back to Ghana so they know their rights, and can get advice before they leave rather than listening to gossip that might not be true.

This is also extremely important. If you see videos of events at the High Commission or that the High Commissioner attends, the same faces appear all the time. Not a bad thing as such because it means there are people who are highly engaged in the promotion of their heritage in this country but many people also say that they didn't know events were taking place. That's true for the vast majority of Ghanaians especially those outside of London. I hear the High Commissioner is not much liked or known outside of North London (but I'm not a gossip - I use this hear'say only to illustrate that the High Commissioner and his office have not built themselves a good reputation or presence in the UK). The word "accessibility" came up a lot and that is the problem. The High Commission is having a crisis of accessibility. @MeFiRi_GHANA tweeted that "We need to reach out to the Ghana high commission and let the know what we need [sic]". This is true. No point complaining if we don't tell people what is wrong, but I have found GHHCUK to behave how I witness the Gov't of Ghana interact with the people back home. They wait until a big event before showing us how they are relevant to our lives. The HC should be so welcoming and intertwined in our   lives that they should seek out to hear complaints and advice. Instead, people get hostile customer service, anger, inefficiency: the cold face of Ghana.

The GHHCUK is lucky that there is a young generation of people in this country who are currently really excited about their heritage. It might just be the fashionable thing, or it might be a permanent shift of responsibility to the homeland, which ever the case, GHHCUK should take advantage of the talent available right now. Engage with young people, team them about their heritage help them progress their careers and the result is a closer, stronger, safer community here, working for a stronger, safer and more prosperous Ghana.

No comments:

Post a Comment