Missionaries’ Residence Permit Among 7 Issues Bishops in Ghana Want President to Address

Members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) with President Nana Akufo-Addo.

Reviewing the amount foreign missionaries in Ghana pay for their residence permits is one of the seven issues Catholic Bishops in the West African country want the Head of State to address, the Bishops have indicated in their collective statement circulated Thursday, September 10.

The five-page statement outlines what the members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) told President Nana Akufo-Addo during their meeting at his Accra residence last Friday, September 4.

“About 80% of our Missionaries working in Ghana do their pastoral and social work in remote areas where the indigenes are not prepared to work. This makes their presence indispensable, especially in the circumstances where they are not on any remuneration or salary,” GCBC members say.

Foreign missionaries “are however required to pay the same amount as other expatriates who work for Multinational Corporate Organizations,” Bishops in Ghana say, making a case for their appeal.

“We wish to appeal to you Mr. President for a review of the amount that is paid,” they say in their collective statement signed by GCBC President, Archbishop Philip Naameh.


The Bishops also brought to the attention of President Akufo-Addo the pending Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the government and religious bodies in the country with regard to the management of schools.

The signing of the MoU “has dragged on for far too long,” the Bishops told the Head of State, adding that when signed, the agreement “will bring to a close some of the challenges we face as Religious Bodies with regard to the management of our schools.”

The status of the Catholic University College of Ghana (CUCG) was also addressed during the meeting, the Bishops have indicated in their collective statement.

“Your Excellency, once again, we will appreciate it very much, if you could kindly grant our University a Presidential Charter for it to be an independent degree awarding institution,” the Bishops appealed to the President.

They informed the President that the leadership of the Catholic institution, which has been operating as an affiliate of the University of Ghana and the University of Cape Coast for 17 years presented the Charter request to the National Accreditation Board in January 2019.

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With the President set to grace the October 31 19th Congregation and the 30th Matriculation ceremonies of the institution, the Bishops expressed the hope that the visit will offer him “the opportunity to also have a first-hand assessment of the facilities available at the permanent campus of the CUCG and ultimately grant the Presidential Charter.”

 Another issue the Bishops want the government of President Akufo-Addo to address is the need for foreign companies operating in the West African country to be responsible and accountable.

The Bishops want the President to ensure that the Multinational Corporations operating in the country “give us our due in taxes (and) respect our citizens and laws.”

The leadership of the Catholic Church in Africa is calling “for endorsement of the International Binding Treaty process to enhance corporate accountability,” the Bishops in Ghana told their country’s President.

Regarding the general elections scheduled for December 7, GCBC members want President Akufo-Addo to ensure that independent state institutions such as security agencies, the judiciary, and the Office of the Auditor General are given “both the space and resources” to perform their “critical functions.”


“We note with great concern the acts of politically orchestrated violence that took place in some parts of the country during the just ended voter registration exercise,” the Bishops told the Head of State during the September 4 meeting.

They highlighted the “disturbing action” of the Special Development Initiatives Minister and Member of Parliament for Awutu-Senya East Constituency in the Central Region, Mrs. Mavis Hawa Koomson, “who admitted to firing a gun at a polling station in self-defense.”

“While we allow the police to do their work, we are of the view that the government should not have been silent on the unfortunate incident so as not to send any wrong signal to the general public,” the Bishops told the President.

They also reiterated their earlier call on political actors in the country “to ensure decorum and courtesy to their political opponents in how they present themselves before the citizens.”

“There is no need to denigrate, debase and dehumanize others to justify your own ability to perform,” they said of the political actors and encouraged President Akufo-Addo “to ensure that those who speak, advocate and campaign for you, commit to respecting your own values and etiquette.”

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The Prelates also want the President to address the issue of corporate sector responsibility and accountability, which they noted, “remain an important governance issue in Ghana and the whole of Africa.”

They urged the President that as his government continues to promote the private sector as the engine of growth, he should also “ensure that they are also properly regulated and held accountable for the benefit of citizens.”

In the context of corporate accountability, they made reference to the recent clean up by the Bank of Ghana, which involved the revocation of licenses of nine financial institutions, noting that many Ghanaians are concerned about their investments and savings.

“It will be in the interest of everybody to have these matters resolved speedily and transparently,” the Bishops in Ghana told the President in reference to the recent the Bank of Ghana issue.

They assured President Akufo-Addo of their “commitment in playing our part, as Shepherds, for the development of our dear Country, Ghana.”

“May the Good Lord grant you all that it takes in the discharge of your duties as the Father of our nation,” the members of GCBC told the Head of State during their meeting.