Diasporian News of Friday, 27 September 2013
Source: Titan Eliezer
The Annual Awards ceremony of the renowned African Newspaper in the United States Mshale was held at the Crown Plaza hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota this Friday September 20th, 2013. This year’s event was held in conjunction with the 25th Anniversary of the Books for Africa event. At this year’s event the prestigious title of African Business of the year went to Yaw Construction Group, Inc., a company owned by a native of Ghana who migrated to the United States. Yaw Construction was nominated in addition to another Ghanaian owned firm, African Travel Tours, out of a host African Businesses.
Yaw Construction Group, Inc. has a good reputation in the areas of General Contracting and Construction Management in the Twin Cities, Minnesota. The Company also specializes in Concrete Structures like Bridges, Estate Development, and Road Construction.
Gilbert Odonkor, CEO and Owner of Yaw Construction, is an entrepreneur who attended an undergraduate education at Achimota School and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Ghana, and a graduate education at the University of Saint Thomas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, that resulted in an MBA, concentration Finance.
At this early stage of his entrepreneurship, Gilbert Odonkor is eager to extend his services to the shores of Ghana and Africa. He quoted the famous words of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah: “The independence of Ghana is meaningless unless it is linked with the total liberation of Africa”. And he likened it to all Africans in the Diaspora during his acceptance speech.
Dr. Kwame Nkrumah challenged all Africans in the Diaspora to make it a duty to return to the continent and give back in different ways. He said: “Giving back doesn’t always have to be charity but could be in the area of leveraging technology and resources to alleviate the poverty that is still pervasive on the continent”.
The Guest Speaker who presented the Awards Winner at the event was the Ghana’s Movie Star and African Movie Academy Award winner, Majid Michel who also happened to be involved with Books for Africa, an organization that donates books to Africa Countries.
Speaking to Gilbert Odonkor after the event, Majid Michel indicated that many in the Diaspora are willing to partake in projects and business ventures on the continent that lead to improvement in the lives of the masses. He looks forward to accelerating his efforts to work in Ghana, which is a blessing for us to have his support.
Gilbert Odonkor who is an ardent follower of news on the African continent in general and Ghana in particular mentioned as laudable efforts by the government in Ghana to promote agriculture and housing. He emphasized that his Group of Investors are planning a trade mission to Ghana with different projects in mind that will enhance the efforts of government in the areas of agriculture, civil projects, and recreation. He believes that government should tap into the knowledge of Ghanaians abroad to create the platform for development, especially since most of us are on the cutting edge.
Part of the event that was hosted by Books for Africa touched on education. On that subject, in relation to the continent of Africa, Gilbert Odonkor felt that government interference should be curbed and education programs developed by educators with input from industry leaders for relevance. He emphasized that the United States has issues with its educational system as well.
The books for Africa event was graced by a speech read on the behalf of the Former Secretary General of the United States, Dr. Kofi Annan who could not attend in person. The Ambassador of Ethiopia, His Excellency Girma Birru and the former first lady of Tanzania Mrs. Anna Mkapa were present as well as African Movie Academy award winner Majid Michel of Ghana. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota and Madam Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, the General Secretary of the World YWCA delivered the keynote address.