Ghana offers at-risk youths a chance
Young people are to get the chance to live and work in Ghana as part of a plan to tackle gang violence.
The governments in Bermuda and Ghana struck the deal after top officials from the West African country, including Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Ghana’s High Commissioner to Great Britain and Ireland, visited the island last week.
Wayne Caines, the national security minister, said: “The primary objective of the meeting was to discuss how we can enhance our gang violence reduction strategy.
“In the near future, we hope to offer our young at-risk men and women the opportunity and experience of living and working in Ghana.”
Mr Caines added participants would be able to take part in “holistic self-reflection” by “being in contact with their African roots, learning their history and understanding more about themselves”.
He said: “More importantly, our young people will come to understand that Bermuda is not the epicentre of the world and there is cultural significance to who they are.”
Leroy Bean, Bermuda’s gang violence reduction co-ordinator, also took part in the meeting.
Mr Caines said: “As discussions continued, the conversation morphed into a meeting of mutual benefit, centred around opportunities for Bermuda to conduct business in their financial sphere.
“I was very pleased with the meeting and look forward to the future opportunities it presents.”
Leonard Teye-Botchway, an eye surgeon who is married to a Bermudian and is the Honorary Consul for Ghana, helped organise the trip.
Dr Teye-Botchway told The Royal Gazette: “Efforts will be made to identify alternative establishments in Ghana that take a holistic approach to education, providing individuals with therapeutic programmes and support groups to help students with emotional and other challenges.
“This is an area where both countries will collaborate further, to bring the idea to fruition.”
Other Ghanaian politicians on the visit included head of chancery Matilda Alomatu Osei-Agyeman, finance secretary Godwin Yaw Tsidi, and heads of trade and investment Kofi Addo and Papa Kow Bartels.
They met several MPs including David Burt, the Premier, as well as John Rankin, the Governor. Dr Teye-Botchway’s wife, Ronita, and Nana Turkson, the secretary to the Honorary Consul for Ghana, were also present.
He added that Mr Owusu-Ankomah used the visit to call for Bermudians to partner with Ghanaians in areas such as mechanised agriculture, agro-processing and reinsurance.
He said: “The High Commissioner also emphasised that, given the enormous opportunities in the production of organic produce from Ghana, the export of agricultural products from Ghana to Bermuda is one area that both countries could explore.”
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