Ghanaians in South Africa don’t relate with High Commission – Ahwoi

Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Kwesi Ahwoi has dismissed claims by Ghanaian residents there that his outfit failed to support them during the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals.

While admitting there were challenges in identifying Ghanaians and their places of residence in the Southern African country, he was quick to add the High Commission did its best under the situation.

He said it was untrue that SOS calls to the embassy were not answered, adding, the embassy only acted upon reports in the media and calls that were received from Ghanaian relatives.

“Ghanaians don’t want to relate with the embassy. It is not that the embassy is not willing to help them. No one has called to inform me about their intention to come home and therefore needs the assistance of the embassy,” he stated.

His comments on Peace FM’s morning show ‘Kokrokoo’, Friday, come after xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa has claimed 10 lives .

Some Ghanaians bemoaned the embassy’s failure to provide a quick response, claiming other countries did a good job by evacuating their nationals.

But Mr Ahwoi said the embassy would have been able to provide an appreciable support system if it knew the number of Ghanaians that lived there.

He said it was however unable to do so because the total number of Ghanaians there were unknown.

Mr Awhoi recounted how difficult it has been for his outfit to even register Ghanaians resident in South Africa.

“If you ask me the number of Ghanaians living in South Africa I would not be able to tell, I don’t know”, he said.

The ambassador said the embassy on several occasions announced a website where Ghanaians living in the country can register but “no one came to register”.

Mr Ahwoi said the churches appear to be a better strategy to register the Ghanaians living in South Africa.

He has held a meeting with 27 out of 54 Ghanaian churches in South Africa to find ways to solve some of these problems.

With the current reduction in the attacks the High Commissioner said it will be unnecessary for his outfit to repatriate Ghanaians home.

He encouraged Ghanaians living in South Africa to form associations and the embassy will be able to communicate to them through their heads.

He cautioned Ghanaians who intend to come to South Africa to ensure that they have the right papers and permit before they come.

Story by Ghana | | Naa Sakwaba Akwa |

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