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IS DUAL CITIZENSHIP A PROBLEM IN GHANA?

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Ghanaians are, just like people from other parts of Africa, traveling the world more and more. Tourists have discovered Africa as a great holiday destination and are visiting Africa more than ever.

The number of Ghanaians abroad has since independence, grown from a few hundred to the current estimated number of almost two million. Many of them high educated and a great “reserve” and potential doctors, lawyers, engineers but also potential politicians to tap from in our near future. Ghanaians abroad include also a number of “foreigners” who became Ghanaian by marriage and by birth who are growing as well.

I roughly estimate that over 90% of them consider themselves more Ghanaian than anything else. Most Ghanaians living abroad also feel more Ghanaian than a citizen of the country they live at.

But because of some business, study obstacles, property restriction, visa hustles etc. they have take the nationality of the country they live in.

Ghana allows dual citizenship, and since a few years without the dual-citizenship card.

I was born in the Netherlands and the Netherlands is still reluctant to allow Dutch people to take a second citizenship but strange enough they are very easy going on foreigners taken Dutch Citizenship.

As a wrote; “strange enough” the Netherlands is easy going on foreigners having dual-citizenship, the most prominent example is the former speaker of parliament, Khadija Arib, born in Hedami, Morocco. Countries like Morocco, Turkey, Nigeria, the USA and other countries don’t allow their citizens to renounce their citizenship. Maybe she would have renounced it if she could but that’s not my point.

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I am an admirer of Khadija Arib, she was a superb speaker of parliament of the Netherlands and I don’t believe that her decisions in the more than 20 years membership of the Dutch parliament has ever been negatively influenced by her dual-citizenship and/or alliance with Morocco.  

Boris Johnson, is a British born in the USA Prime-Minister and has been a Member of Parliament since 2015. Boris denounced his American Citizenship in 2017 only because of tax reasons (an American pays taxes in the USA on all your income no matter where you made it).

I don’t know if you have seen Boris Johnson actions during the Brexit debates and if you agree with Brexit or not, nobody can claim that Boris doesn’t have Great Britain  first, second and third on his mind.

The United States allows Members of the house and most other official organizations to have Dual-Citizenship and only restricts dual-citizenship for security posts.    

Many other countries which allow dual-citizenship also allow dual-citizens to be officials and representatives of the state.

I am a Dual-Citizen of Ghana and the Netherlands but my loyalty is clearly off-balance towards Ghana.

Although there are attempts to change our laws as specified in the:

“Citizenship Amendment Bill to Parliament”.

Do we in Ghana really think that a prospected MP who is denouncing his Dual-Citizenship suddenly becomes more or less loyal to Ghana?

Do we doubt the loyalty to Ghana of  Adamu Daramani Sakande, former parliamentary candidate for NPP to Ghana? (convicted to 2 years jail for having another citizenship at the time of running form parliament) .

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Do we doubt the loyalty to Ghana of  James Gyakye Quayson of NDC currently in court over the same offence?

Member of Parliament for Akim Swedru, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, has presented the Citizenship Amendment Bill to Parliament. The positions dual citizens can occupy if the bill is passed include Ambassador or High Commissioner, Secretary to Cabinet, Chief Of Defence Staff, Inspector General of Police, Director of immigration service and Member of Parliament.

And I think passing this bill as soon as possible is not only good for Ghanaians abroad but for all Ghanaians. As soon as all these positions are within reach of all of us another obstacle in the way of fast track development of Ghana has been removed.

Just a concerned Ghanaian

Source: LinkedIn.com| Nicolaas C.M. van Staalduinen

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