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Ghana Dual citizenship

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Kamundu, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. K

    Kamundu JF-Expert Member

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    Jul 26, 2012
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    Definition
    Dual citizenship or dual nationality refers to an individual being a citizen of two countries or a legal status by which a Ghanaian becomes a citizen of two countries. Dual citizens have two passports and essentially live and travel freely within their native and naturalised countries without immigration constraints.
    According to Ghana's Citizenship Act of 2000 which went into effect in July 2002, “A citizen of Ghana may hold the citizenship of any other country in addition to his citizenship of Ghana.” Citizens who lost their citizenship as a result of the previous law which proscribed dual citizenship can regain their Ghanaian citizenship by applying to the Ministry of Interior for reinstatement.
    A careful reading of the Dual citizenship Act 591, of 2001 and its companion Regulation of 2001 shows that the Act does not confer to the dual citizens all the rights and privileges enjoyed by Ghanaians under the 1992 constitution. The only benefits are the acquisition of a passport and a visa to freely travel between the foreign domiciliary and his/her home country of Ghana. The dual citizen, in fact, becomes a de facto second class citizen in his/her own country of birth or origin. Specifically under the Act, there are thirteen listed prohibited positions within the Ghana public service, i.e., Army and security apparatus, Justice of the Supreme Court, Ambassador, Chief Directory of a Ministry, or Colonel in the army , among others, which a dual citizen is proscribed from being appointed to. Such prohibition is not only in direct contravention of the equal protection clause of the constitution that extends equality of opportunity for all citizens without discrimination, but also in contravention of UN Declaration of Human Rights and other international treaties which mandate all governments to allow all citizens the right to participate in the government and the public service, to tap on much-needed but ignored resource and human development of all its citizenship under the impetus of globalization.
    The Republic of Ghana has realized the economic benefits of dual citizenship and continues to encourage its citizens since December 1, 2002, to obtain dual citizenship. However, some of our fellow brothers and sisters are openly hostile to the idea of Ghanaians Living Abroad (GLAs) competing for political office. GLAs are yet to exercise their voting rights abroad as conferred by ROPAA of 2006.
    This article is a contribution to the contemporary debate amongst GLAs regarding the issue of Dual Citizenship. The focus of this discussion is about socio-economic and political benefits relevant to the development of our beloved country. The aim is to highlight some of the benefits of including GLAs, in particular those with dual citizenship, in the democratic process. We aim to show why amending the constitution is a necessity.
    Advantages

    Dual citizenship is becoming more common in today's increasingly interconnected global economies. Countries such as India, the Philippines and Mexico have sought to utilise the advantages of dual citizenship by liberalizing their citizenship laws. These countries have realized that dual citizenship has the advantages of broadening a country's economic base, fostering trade and investment between the dual citizen's two respective countries. This view is shared by Africa's Brain Drain, an NGO dedicated to turning the brain drain into a brain gain. One of the benefits of dual citizenship is the ability of dual citizens to influence economic and political decisions in their host countries in favour of their countries of birth and descent , in our case, Ghana.

    Losing/renouncing Ghanaian citizenship
    There exists a prevailing perception among Ghanaians, that when a Ghanaian becomes a naturalized citizen of another country, the individual loses his/her Ghanaian citizenship. Naturalized US citizens are not legally obligated to give up their citizenship of their country. The United States has never ordered newly naturalized citizens to present themselves to their native country's embassy in order to formally renounce their original citizenship. Legally, there is nothing in the Constitution and there are none from the United States Supreme Court preventing the United States (via the State Department) from requiring all naturalized citizens to officially renounce their citizenship to their native country as a condition for naturalization. The Dutch Government asked Ghanaians to give up their Ghanaian passports upon naturalisation. In the UK, there is no obligation to renounce your Ghanaian citizenship. Britain fully embraces dual citizenship. It does not preclude a Ghanaian from serving at local Government or national Government level. It does not preclude Ghanaians from becoming Judges or holding political office. Indeed, the British Government has recognised the benefits of multiculturalism by including more Blacks in all positions including local Government and in the British parliament.
    Oath of Allegiance
    The opponents of the dual citizenship debate always draw one's attention to the oath of allegiance that one is required to declare. The opening lines of the Oath of Allegiance are meant to give the United States sovereignty over the newly naturalized citizen. The important thing to remember about the oath of allegiance is not the renunciation of your original citizenship, which the US does not enforce nor require, but to remember the allegiance and fidelity you swear to the United States of America. The oath is a promise one made to be faithful and true to the laws of America. The Oath is also a demonstration of one's loyalty and commitment to defend and protect the United States of America at all times.
    In essence, an individual Ghanaian who obtained United States Citizenship is still a Ghanaian, especially on Ghanaian soil.
    If dual citizenship is such a bad idea, why are Ghanaians endeavouring to adjust the status of Ghanaians presently on Temporary Protective Status (TPS)? There are people from Ghana who had to flee from persecution, torture and escape abroad following military intervention and coups in Ghana, wanton destruction of property and execution of their friends and relatives. Their lives were so threatened, their living conditions so deadly, they were granted political asylum. To these immigrants, U.S., U.K. and other second countries are more than a passport: to economic benefit. In Ghana's past, it was security and protection first to the individual and then to their relatives left behind in Ghana. Citizenship should be about ideals.
    Comparison with other countries
    In the last 12 years, Colombia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic and Mexico, the suppliers of some of the fastest-growing immigrant groups in America, have allowed their nationals to become citizens elsewhere without losing their original nationality. New leaderships in South Korea and India have expressed support for the same idea. Australians in the United States have been pressuring their government to allow dual citizenship so they can become Americans without losing their native status. Economic advantage is the main motivation here: avoiding the stiff estate taxes that the U.S. government imposes on foreigners operating in the United States. There is a large degree of evidence of naturalized USA and UK citizens operating in official capacities in their former country of origins.
    Expertise, skill and experience
    As society becomes more global and integrated, the value of Dual Citizenship and a second passport is increasingly becoming a necessity. The comforts of being an American or European Citizen, at the same time maintaining one's original nationality, provides an individual with an abundance of benefits and set of liberties. Economically, Ghana stands to benefit. Dual citizenship provides access to financial investment rights (property, securities, retirement, social security benefits, etc.) American citizenship provides access to adequate medical benefits, including potentially free healthcare, especially for those reaching the age of retirement. Access to educational benefits, including higher education, are all possibilities within the reach of Ghanaians who enjoyed dual citizenships. Most importantly, it provides opportunity for children of Ghanaian parentage to travel freely and reconnect with their cultural background and strengthen the fabric of their African heritage.
    It is in Ghana's best interest to have an individual who has dual citizenship as a Member of Parliament, especially at this time. Never before in the history of Ghana, has the need for international assistance become so urgent and essential. The need for change is apparent; the need to seek and identify individuals whose expertise and experiences transcend the day-to-day norms of the Ghanaian society is a responsibility, which all Ghanaians cannot afford to ignore. It is one thing to talk about fifty-one years of independence, and it is another to know that Ghanaians' years of national sovereignty have yet to match the scope of their national development. Currently, developments of road net works, water system, health care facilities, education system, telecommunication facilities, etc. would benefit from an open system where the minds and resources of GLAs are freely tapped. The endorsing or advocating the development of multiple national attachments should be viewed in terms of national development and economic strategy. Dual citizenship would help Ghanaian businessmen/women to transact and move freely, especially in and out of the United States, United Kingdom, other parts of the European Union, etc.
    Ghanaian children born in the Diaspora
    The question that needs to be answered by the detractors of dual citizenship: Is it fair to deny any of the children born outside of Ghana of Ghanaian parentage from contesting the Ghanaian Parliamentary elections in the future because, they have dual citizenship? What about our sportsmen and women all over the world? The recent Olympic games were a demonstration of our failure to utilise the skills and talents of our citizens overseas. Ghana returned with no medals. Togo acquired a bronze medal by one of their dual-nationals. In fact, it is an open secret that some European-based players in our national team hold foreign passports. Like other Ghanaian professionals in the Diaspora, footballers take up foreign citizenship for practical reasons (e.g., to avoid UEFA and national league quotas on foreign players that existed before the Bosman ruling of 1996 or current restrictions on non-EU players).
    In other cases, dual citizenship stems from the fact that some of these athletes were born in countries that grant citizenship by birth, but they later decided to play for Ghana rather than for their country of birth.
    Free Enterprise and Democracy
    The ideals of Free Enterprise and Democracy are complementary. The development and sustenance of a strong middle class is essential to attaining stability and growth in Ghana. Dual citizenship has the ability to bring this about. The future seems to provide a great promise; Dual citizenship will help to democratize the politics of Ghana. There are thousands of children born to Ghanaian nationals presently residing in the Diaspora. These children with their dual nationalities and exposures could help Ghana to navigate her destiny through the twenty-first century. Democracy indeed, is built on informed citizen participation, especially those who have lived and practiced it in developed countries. The ideal of democracy is meaningful participation of an engaged and informed citizenry. Dual Citizenship is undoubtedly, one of the ways to foster Ghana's future economic development. Leopold Senghor of Senegal was correct when he said: “To build a nation, to create a new civilization which can lay claim to existence because it is humane, we shall try to employ not only enlightened reason but also dynamic imagination.”
    Summary
    Globalization has dramatically altered the dual citizenship debate in many countries. Ghanaians Living Abroad make an enormous contribution towards the socio-economic development of our nation. The time has come for Ghana to take advantage of the vast experience of its own nationals without conditions and limitations.

    GLAs' knowledge, qualifications, skills, talents and expertise should neither be ignored nor discarded. The political reasons that were once used to reject GLAs from participating in elections and holding political office are today steadily giving way to powerful economic and cultural arguments in favour of amending the constitution. It would allow expatriates and their children to return and invest in their birthplace, entice foreign investors and promote cross-border cooperation. Amending the relevant part of the Constitution and the legislation (Act 591) is certainly a way forward.

    It would give the GLA the chance to propel our country to a higher level, lead to economic prosperity and political maturity. It would also be in recognition of the great support Ghana has received from her citizens who have been living beyond her shores over the years, in particular, the past 30 years. This support has been in the areas of economic, technical, social and infrastructural development. Annual remittances of more than $4billion cannot be treated lightly, therefore, the unrestricted importance that Ghana should attach to GLAs cannot be overemphasized. It is a win-win situation.
    You are invited to support a non-partisan ad hoc group, Ghana Citizens-Advocacy Group (G-CAG) that will be fighting for the interest of Ghanaians Living Abroad (GLA's) You may contact and join your local British group email:gdjaba@yahoo.com or USA group email: kboateng@aaionline.org for further details.

    By Maame Ama Djaba, BA Hons, LLB Hons, LLM, London
     
  2. Ruge Opinion

    Ruge Opinion JF-Expert Member

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    Dual citizenship is a scam. If you still want to be a citizen of your country of origin what made you leave in the first place? What made you renounce your citizenship? Foreign investors are flowing in droves to Africa. You don't need to have citizenship in order to invest or work in your former country. Investment is about taking advantage of opportunities. Capital has no colour or citizenship. If the Americans, Europeans, Indians and Chinese are investing without asking for citizenship why should Africans in the Diaspora make citizenship a precondition for participating in Africa's development? This could opening a Pandora's box. Criminals and other undesirables could take advantage of the situation to move freely.
     
  3. Kiranga

    Kiranga JF-Expert Member

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    The entire concept of Citizenship, and indeed the state, is changing before our eyes, but yet some of us are clinging to some relics of the Peace of Westphalia/ Thirty Year's War and the Italian Renaissance version of states/ principalities.

    Ukishangaa ya Musa utaona ya Firauni.Wakati wewe unapinga dual citizenship utashangaa kwamba mkuki wa muda umetupwa kuelekea huko hata uraia kwa nchi kama tunavyoujua leo utatoweka kabisa.

    Halafu kila siku tunataka kuwa two steps back, I guess wenzetu wakisha perfect huko kusiko uraia sie ndo tutaanza kuongelea dual citizenship, wakati advantage zote za sasa za dual citizenship zitatoweka kwa sababu itakuwa ni habari iliyopitwa na wakati.
     
  4. Kijakazi

    Kijakazi JF-Expert Member

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    Conspiracy Theorist!
     
  5. Kiranga

    Kiranga JF-Expert Member

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    I doubt you understand what those terms mean.

    If you look at the self-importance of the idea of the "nation-state", that is the actual conspiracy here. And as with all conspiracies, it will not stand the test of time just as the pre-Westphalia, then ubiqutous European absolute monarchies did not.It is a function of entropy and can neither be reversed nor disputed sufficiently.

    But I doubt you will ever get that through your head.

    One needs a basic understanding of The "Italian" Renaissance, the rise of the papal and mercantile states and principalities (the forerunner of the modern state), The Holy Roman Empire, The Thirty Years War, The Peace of Westphalia etc, to understand how artificial and recent the concepts of nation-state and it's citizenship are.

    Some treat the state on a par with some unapproachable orthodoxy.

    Not me thankfully.
     
  6. Nyani Ngabu

    Nyani Ngabu Platinum Member

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    Sioni sababu ya msingi kwa nini baadhi ya watu wanapinga uraia pacha.
     
  7. Richard

    Richard JF-Expert Member

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    Kijakazi, where did you get this word from?

    If you quote it from different topics then you haven't understood it correctly.

    Conspirancy theories are those which someone is trying to divert the discussions with something else.

    You are diverting route of ideas on a detour.
     
  8. Richard

    Richard JF-Expert Member

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    Ghana has dual citizenship guidance and help their citizens to aquire it without any obstacles to progress.

    Here is example of guidence from the embassy of Ghana regarding dual citizenship applications.

    In accordance with the Citizenship Act of 2002 (Act 591),Ghanaians who have acquired US Citizenship, are eligible to apply for dual citizenship.

    GuidelinesApplicants are required to complete a Dual Nationality Application Form at a cost of $200. The Form has to be fully completed before submission to the Embassy and onward transmission to the Ministry of Interior in Accra.

    Requirements:

    A completed application is to be accompanied by:


    • A photocopy of your U.S.A Naturalization Certificate/U.S passport
    • Six passport size photographs
    • Evidence of Ghanaian Nationality (Parent's nationality - photocopy of passport or Birth Certificate / Birth certificate / Voter's ID card / Ghanaian Passport)
    • Contact telephone numbers
    • Names and address of two relatives residing in Ghana
    • Photocopy of the receipt issued when the application form was purchased
    Application forms can be obtained from the Embassy in Washington D.C., and the Ghana's Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.Prospective applicants who live outside the locations indicated above and wish to purchase the form can send money order of $200 per form to the Embassy with a note requesting for the Dual Nationality Application Form. Include a self address and traceable return envelop.

    On acquiring the dual citizenship, a holder will be entitled to apply for Ghanaian passport in addition to their US passport.A holder of dual citizenship will be permitted to remain in Ghana without limitation if the person entered the country on a Ghana passport.

    It is an offence however, for a dual citizenship holder to use two passports interchangeably to deceive an immigration officer.

    Kwahio ukiangalia sana hakuna cha ajabu.
     
  9. Kijakazi

    Kijakazi JF-Expert Member

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    OK nakubali labda sijakulewa sawa sawa, twende pole pole! Je unamaanisha kwamba Utaifa kama tuujuavyo utakufa au utapotea?
     
  10. Kiranga

    Kiranga JF-Expert Member

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    Dual nationality is but the first punch in that direction. Watu watakuja na EU citizenship, AU Citizenship. Multinational conglomerates zenye bajeti maradufu ya vi nchi vyetu zitaanzisha principalities ndani ya nchi hizi na kufanya wafanyakazi wake practically kama a separate citizenship. Nasema watafanya kwa kuwa modest tu, in many ways washaanza kufanya. Biashara ya kimataifa itafanya mipaka ya kijiografia isiwe na nguvu - indeed ifutike kama tunavyoona regional integration inapotaka kuanza kutupeleka.

    Kwa nini unafikiri kuukumbatia uraia huu ulioletwa na wazungu artificially blindly kutakuwa na manufaa kwetu katika miaka ya mbele?

    Ni bora tuelewe haya na kuwa upande sahihi wa historia.

    Kukumbatia uraia wa kizamani sasa hivi ni kama makaburu walivyofikiri kwamba Afrika kusini haiwezi kutawaliwa na mweusi, au Mreno alivyofikiri kwamba Msumbiji haiwezi kuwa huru katika miaka 500 ijayo.

    Kuna mambo fulani unaona kabisa mkondo wa muda hauyafagilii. Swala hapa si kukubali Dual Citizenship au kuikataa.

    Swala ni kwamba tuikubali mapema na kupata faida za "early adopters" au tungojee mpaka wenzetu wanatoka kwenye "Dual Citizenship" na kuifanya si kitu kipya, na sisi ndo tuingie kama ma "Johnny come-lately".

    Kuna kipindi habari ya kuwa na vyama vingi Tanzania ilionekana kama ndoto, lakini kwa sababu mkondo wa muda ulitiririka huko, tukashindwa kuikataa hata pale "Tume ya Nyalali" ilipotuambia kwamba waTanzania wengi hawataki vyama vingi.

    Kwa nini?

    Mkondo wa muda ulitiririka kuelekea vyama vingi. Ma Glasnost, Perestroika, fall of Berlin Wall,IMF, World Bank mpaka kina Mapalala and co, yote yalitu force kuwa na vyama vingi.

    Vivyo hivyo mkondo wa muda ukisaidiwa na mvuto wa biashara na maendeleo ya habari unatiririka kuelekea dual citizenship, you can delay it, but eventually huwezi kuzuia maji ya mto kushuka mlima.
     
  11. Kijakazi

    Kijakazi JF-Expert Member

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    Ok nafikiri nimekupata kiaina! Mimi sipingi wala siafiki uraia wa nchi mbili kwa maana bado sijaelewa sana faida na hasara zake kwa hiyo niko undecided!

    Tuje kwenye hilo somo la utaifa ambalo kwangu limenivutia kidogo, kama nimekupata vizuri ni kwamba Dunia ijayo au labda ya sasa hivi itakuwa haina mipaka kwa maana hiyo nchi zetu kama tuzijuavyo zitatoweka na kutakuwa na nchi moja labda ya Afrika au Microsoft au Cocacola, n.k

    Je nini maoni yako, kuna haja yoyote hata ya sisi kuanza kuongelea Uzalendo wa nchi yetu na rasilimali zetu na jinsi tunavyoweza kupata Katiba au Chama kinachoweza kusimamia Rasilimali zetu kwa faida yetu kama mwisho wa siku Tanzania yenyewe itapotea kwenye Ramani ya Dunia na kuja kitu kingine kabisa ambacho hakitajali kama umezaliwa Tz au la? Kwa maana nyingine ungepata nafasi ya kuwashauri/ kuwafundisha watoto wa Tz wanaokuwa sasa hivi ungewaambiaje kuhusu uzalendo kwamba wasipoteze muda kwa maana Tanzania yenyewe iko mbioni kupotea?
     
  12. Kiranga

    Kiranga JF-Expert Member

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    Inategemea unaongelea timeframe gani.

    Kwa sasa hivi bado kuna umuhimu wa kuongelea uzalendo ulioenda shule. Uzalendo ambao utakubali "regional integration" bila kukubali handing over the interests of Tanzanians just because the current "nation-state" construct is doomed..

    Uzalendo ambao hauta resign tu na kusema "dunia ijayo hakutakuwa na uraia kama tuujuavyo, kwa hiyo bora liende tu" kwa sababu bado tuna nafasi ya kufanya haya mabadiliko yanayotakiwa ili kufanya ndugu zetu waweze kufaiika kabisa na dunia ijayo.

    Ndiyo maana mimi si dismiss completely argument against dual citizenship, kwa sababu hata process ya dual citizenship ikifanywa kiholela maana yake ni kuacha mianya ya kutorosha fedha nje etc.Lakini pia siwezi kuunga mkono kupinga dual citizenship kwa kuogopa capital flight kwa sababu swala la capital flight inabidi liwe addressed kama capital flight. Usije kuleta habari ya kukataa Dual Citizenship kwa kuogopa capital flight, ukaleta an ineffective case of "Mtego wa panya unasao waliotakiwa na wasiotakiwa".

    Juzi nimeenda sabasaba nikashangaa mabanda yanafungwa saa 12 jioni kwa sababu BET inaogopa responsibility ya wizi. Nikasema watu wana project image mbaya ya taifa (kwamba tunafunga biashara saa 12) kwa kuogopa wizi, kitu ambacho kinaweza kudhibitiwa. Similarly, huwezi kusema unaogopa Dual Citizenship kwa sababu ya kuogopa capital flight kwa sababu kuna njia za ku deal na capital flight hata kwenye dual citizenship.

    Uzalendo unaotakiwa sasa hivi ni kuelewa kwamba kama unaipenda nchi yako, utaitakia ifanye vyema kiuchumi, na ukiitakia ifanye vyema kiuchumi na isiachwe nyuma na nyingine, inabidi kuanza kufikiri globally.Jifunze Kiswahili, lakini pia jua vizuri Kiingereza. Chunguza historia yetu, lakini pia ujue habari za historia za nchi nyingine. Tafuta kazi na makazi yatakayokuja kukupa wewe na ndugu zako manufaa, kama ni nyumbani au nje.Usijifunge kwa traditions za ku uphold uzalendo uliopitwa na wakati ambao hauangalii dunia inapokwenda.

    Ninachochelea hapa ni kuona watu wana bend over backwards kupinga kitu ambacho eventually kitakuja kutokea tu. Hili haina maana kwamba watu watupe mapenzi yote kwa nchi yao leo, lakini kuna namna ya kuipenda nchi yako na kuangalia dunia nzima inapokwenda bila ku compromise mapenzi yako kwa nchi yako.

    After all hizi habari za kuondoka kwa utaifa kama tunavyoujua hazikamiliki leo kama utaifa ulivyochukua miaka 400 kukamilika na kuanza kutikisika.
     
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