Diasporian News of Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Source: Ghana Union Ireland
What a day it was… and a day that made Ghanaians in Ireland come together as never before; understanding the importance of working towards a common vision as Ghanaians and forgetting all the anguish and anxiety of the current economic downturn for once! It all happened on Sunday the 6 th of May 2012. The newly formed Ghana Union Ireland (GUI) whose mission is to serve as the „umbrella body? becoming the voice and representing all Ghanaians in Ireland in any undertaking was inaugurated by His Excellency Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo, Ghana?s High Commissioner to UK/Ireland.
In brief, the historic inaugural ceremony witnessed the attendance of the first citizen of the County where the event was held, i.e. the Mayor of Fingal County, Gerry Mcguire together with the Honorary Consul of the Ghana Consulate, Dublin, and other Ambassadors from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda etc. who all came to enjoy, „tasted? and experienced Ghana?s rich culture and hospitality.
The inaugural ceremony was held in the Carlton Hotel, Tyrellstown, Dublin 15, and („if the numbers were right’) it could be deduced that the event drew over 300 Ghanaians including other Nationals from different countries such as Kenya; South Africa; Nigeria etc. As well, people came from all the different counties in Ireland including Belfast to enjoy the pomp, splendour and grandeur that came with the remarkable inaugural ceremony. The event themed “Deepening the Economic and Socio-Cultural Ties between Ghana and Ireland: The Role of the Immigrant in the Diaspora”, commenced exactly at 8:15pm, and in a proper demeanour, the MCs for the occasion, Ms. Erica Birch-Abban and „Twi Teacher? (UK), who all performed with brilliance, started the occasion by inviting Pastor Ricky Sarpong and Alhaji Adam Mahama to offer prayers to the Almighty God in both the Christian and Islamic fashion, thus, demonstrating the true harmonious and patriotic values that has always existed amongst Ghanaians.
Following this, Ms Veronica Manu, the Vice Organising Secretary from the union in County Cork, beautifully presented the „Welcome Address?, and then came the Mayor of Fingal, who gave the Solidarity Speech, and identified reasons why Ghanaians and Irish should continue in deepening the economic and socio-cultural ties that already exist between the two countries. In furtherance to that, Councillor Gerry McGuire, described County Fingal as a strong supporter of economic development, always willing to assist in the creation of new developments to create employment opportunities for all its residents, which include Ghanaians. He also mentioned that in a diverse county such as Fingal, where one in every five residents is a foreigner, of which he is very proud because of their contribution to the growth of the County. Councillor McGuire, describing Ghana as the most hospitable country in Africa, with a rich and diverse culture and a long period of struggle against colonialism, emphasised that, Ireland has much to identify with Ghana in terms of their colonial history and economic ties. For instance, Councillor McGuire made mention of the historical background and existing ties that Ghana and Ireland share, citing Tullow Oil, Guinness and other Irish companies based in Ghana as typical examples. Most importantly, he identified the need for areas such as the Agriculture Sector to become the new drive that Ghana and Ireland could strategically develop in stimulating economic development and growth. As the event wasn?t focused on „speeches? alone, a balance was created with an interlude of dance displays from our lovely Ghanaian kids of the „Ahenfie Cultural Troupe?, beautifullyclad in rich Kente cloths who performed a well-choreographed „Adowa Dance?, guided by Nana Obeng Agyeman and Mrs Vida Asamoah. Thereafter, the „Dynamic Entertainment Group? wowed the crowd with their „Azonto Moves? thanks to the hard work of Ms. Ama Konadu Yiadom (The Youth Organiser) and Mr Paul Asamoah. In a nutshell (as we can?t tell you everything), all present were proud to witness such entertainment from our future leaders.
In what follows, the Steering Committee Chairperson, Mr. Kwabena Antwi-Bosiako, addressed the entire Ghanaian community and invited guests with an overwhelmingly wellwritten „Inaugural Speech?, which highlighted the objectives of the Union. In his speech, he encouraged every Ghanaian to contribute to the objectives of the union in ensuring a sustained united front in all of their endeavours and in the pursuance of a „just society? which will benefit our children and contribute positively to the Irish society. The captivating moment came, when the auditorium was „electrified? as Ms. Hola Sosu introduced the Key Note Speaker, His Excellency Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo. She begun reading the profile of the High Commissioner with a combination of „ns?m brani? (appellation), incorporating it with high-morale songs such as „Ghana Osee yie…? all the time waving our beloved Ghana flag and stimulating the audience. The atmosphere was highly-charged and with the help of the Live Band, it was very difficult for anybody to remain seated, and scores of people moved to the dance floor, to usher the High Commissioner to the podium. It was a spontaneous piece of action!!! As we say in Twi, „?y? kra b? hw?!!!?
His Excellency Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo commended the entire Ghanaian Community for making this dream a reality and gave a firm assurance in his authority to support the Ghanaian community in Ireland, now that a recognised body has been inaugurated in the form of GUI. He also highlighted the fact that Ghana is one of the emerging economies in Africa and rebuffed stories of violence in Ghana preceding the general elections and affirmed that Ghana is still a shining example for peace loving people around the world. His Excellency proceeded to inaugurate the executives from the different counties in Ireland which included: County Dublin Mr. Kwabena Antwi-Boasiako; Nana Osei Bonsu Karikari; Ms. Jacqueline Takyi-Berko; Mr. Godwin Agbo; Mr. Edward Yiadom Boakye; Mrs. Nancy Agyapong; Mr. Michael Amenumey; Mr Samuel Peprah; Mr. Eric Yeboah; Ms. Christiana Asiedu Appiah; Mr. Henry M. Opoku and Ms. Ama Konadu Yiadom.
County Cork Mr. Joe Kwabena Mensah; Mr. Emos Ensonlo; Mr. Thomas Nguessan; Mr. Amadu Kassim; Mrs. Victoria Boampong; Mr. Eddy Agyemang and Ms. Veronica Manu.County Galway Mrs. Gloria Bennin, Mr. Randy Nkansah Asante and Mr. Yaw Sarpong County Donegal (Letterkenny) Mr. Kwame Frimpong; Rama Incoom; Ms.Veronica Frimpong; Ms. Rosemary Yeboah, Adams Panies and Mr. Seth Yeboah In the penultimate section of the event, the secretary for the Union, Ms Jackie Takyi-Berko on behalf of the executives thanked the High Commissioner for honouring the invitation and answering the call of Ghanaians in Ireland. Mr. Agyemang-Prempeh then presented the Vote of Thanks whiles Pastor Dankwah gave the closing prayer respectively. The rest of the evening was marked with celebrations, as guests finished their dinners and moved to the „dance floor?, paving the way for DJ Raspizo to conjure his „magic?. In conclusion, the inaugural ceremony brought Ghanaians from all the cities and towns in Ireland together to work towards a common vision. It also gave the opportunity for people, not only Ghanaians, to socialize and share this historic experience as one. This inaugural event has also set a positive precedent for the future of Ghanaians in Ireland and has established a legacy for our children and generations to come. Hopefully, this new chapter will project the promotion of our Ghanaian cultural heritage and other issues regarding our stay here in Ireland to the forefront.
Ghana Union Ireland