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Diasporia News of Thursday, 7 May 2015

Source: RH

Chicago's Ghana National Council Turns Things around

.... Posts profit from Independence Celebrations ... but GhanaFest 2015 in Danger?
Chicago May 3 2015:After two attempts to erase the negative image of the Ghana National Council, GNC, as a debt- riddled organization from past events hosted by the council failed, the organization finally reported positive news . The GNC reported yesterday at its monthly general meeting that the council had a net gain of over $5000.00 from the recent Ghana Independence Anniversary celebrations.

Members of the committee which organized the successful Independence Anniversary celebrations includes : Ebenezer Antwi-Nsiah( President) Ex-officio member; Paa Kwesi Sam, Vice-President; Evelyn Mensah, Treasurer; Eugene Frimpong, Sergent-at-arm;Steve Dei, Organizing Secretary;Mrs. Akua Kwateng-Bonsu, Executive member; Nelson Hodogbey, Dan Assem, council members; Hajia Habiba Seidu-Fuseini, Council member and Queenmother of Ghana Northern Union; Fred Eddie-Quartey Executive member and Sadik Aboagye, Secretary. Felicia Agyare was the promoter of the event.

The current GNC took over the administration of the council without a bank account as the previous leadership had blocked access to the council's accounts to the current administration. The Nsiah-led administration was forced to look for funds and open a new bank account for the council. An alleged debt left by the previous administration had not been confirmed yet because the transition committee tasked to review the books did not receive any receipts/invoices covering transactions of the previous regime. To add insult to injury, the new regime did not do itself any good when they lost the first event they organized. The event was a fundraiser for the council but ended up being a losing venture. They also lost about $12,000.00 when they organized Ghanafest in 2014 but were able to cut the cost of hosting the popular event from about $56,000.00 to around $40,000.00.

As a result of this new development, members of the community who were losing patience and trust in the council may have one more reason to give the Nsiah-led administration a chance as they prepare to host Ghanafest 2015. The huge test, Ghanafest 2015,is scheduled for Saturday July 25, 2015 at the Washington Park , in Chicago Illinois. As expected, the GNC council members voted to organize the event at a general meeting held last month. A committee headed by the Vice President, Paa Kwesi Sam, has been formed and tasked to organize Ghanafest 2015. The event is expected to cost about $40,000.00 but as of yesterday, the GNC did not have the funding for the event. Council members are used to approving previous Ghanafests' and other programs of the GNC but leave the burden of funding to the administrations or organizing committees.

Despite the urgency to fund the event, an appeal by the 2015 Ghanafest committee for council members to loan $500.00 each to the council did not yield much. Only two council members agreed to provide the council with a total of $1000.00. Meanwhile some member organizations of the council owed over $15,000.00. A member of the council who want to remain anonymous passionately appealed to organizations who owed the GNC to pay their debt immediately. This he opined could give the council some relief from the present financial predicament they face.

We humbly appeal to community leaders, members of the GNC and the Executives to show leadership by helping to fund the event which is the largest and most spectacular African cultural performance in the diaspora! If such leadership is provided, we believe it would encourage the businesses and members of the Ghanaian community in general come to the aid of the council. We wish the GNC well in its endeavors and hope that they would work with other leaders and organizations in the community to find permanent solutions for funding Ghanafest and other programs they have envisioned for the community.