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Diasporian News of Thursday, 13 December 2007

Source: - Reggie Tagoe in Rome, Italy

Ghana@50 in Italy ends with a Charity Ball

Sheraton Hotel, located at a quite part of the Italian city Rome, was chosen as the venue to end celebrations in commemoration of Ghana?s 50th year of Independence in Italy. What a perfect place to close down the curtain on a series of events, from the early part of the year, portraying the image of Ghana under this anniversary by Ghanaians in Italy.

The 640-bedroom luxurious hotel has enough space to accommodate many Ghanaians, Italians and other nationals, some who travelled over 800 km to be part of this Charity Ball. Three of the five Ghana-based artistes expected at the show for some reasons were unable to make it but that didn?t diminish the euphoria expected at such an event of a dinner and dance carrying on its top a lottery draw where attractive prizes were won.

The exquisite nature of Sheraton Hotel, with it splendour of a Conference Hall, lounge, restaurant, halls for wedding and other ceremonies and it?s exotic flower compound certainly would not come cheap to the organisers. My enquiries at the counter on price list, looking at attendance -food inclusive - pointed to me the organisers of this great feast with ?12,000 payment can only go back home with some loose change ? but it was worth every amount spent.

The Ghana Embassy in Rome, which hosted the event assisted by its other sponsors ? Ghanacoop (a Ghanaian entity born out of the Ghana Association in the city Modena), Unicredit Group Bank in Rome, Council of Ghanaian Nationals Associations in Italy (COGNAI), Afriqiyah Airways, New Techo Srl, Arcadia, Western Union, Frimprince Music Production and Ethiopian Airlines ? made sure everything fits into place under the awesome night. Sitting arrangements brought forth names and places from Ghana as 50 tables, each with 10 seats, were given special names, among them were, Central Region, Boti Falls, Mountain Afadjato, Upper West Region, Aburi Girls, KNUST (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science &Technolgy).

Ghanaians, Italians, organisations and other individuals that have contributed immensely to the course of Ghanaians in Italy and elsewhere were presented with special awards. Service Award went to the organisation, Arcadia, in recognition of their service in combination with Ghanacoop which has helped Ghanaians in Italy. A-FMAL health organisation received the Medical Award for going to Ghana to perform surgical operations on the blind, the Religious Award went to Rev. Francis A. Amponsah. He is the co-founder of the Pilgrim Church in Italy and has 14 branches in Ghana, the Rev. Minister has also secured a 2.3 hectare land in Ghana to build a Bible College. Samuel Osei Kufour, who featured for the Ghana national soccer team - Black Stars - received a Sports Award in recognition of lifting high the flag of Ghana through sports. Other award recipients on the night were, Samia Yaba Nkrumah, (daughter of Ghana?s first President of Ghana ? Dr. Kwame Nkrumah) who received the Role Model Award being a good Ambassador of Ghana through her activities, Academic Award went to Dr. Kodwo Andah in recognition of his academic excellence. He is the only African water expert having been invited to contribute to the UNESCO and encyclopedia on life support systems. Dr. Andah is also author and co-author of 80 scientific papers published on a number of works with UNESCO. Business Company Award went to Ghanacoop in recognition of promotion of Ghanaian products in Italy.
There were also special awards from the Ghana Ambassador to Italy. Christine Osei-Bonsu for his selflessness in promotion of Ghanaian interest development projects in the Eastern Region of Ghana, the Council of Ghanaian Nationals Associations in Italy (COGNAI) were also awarded in recognition of their dedication to community development, Mike Brako for service to the Ghanaian community, Reggie Tagoe in recognition to his contribution to the promotion of the Ghanaian interest through mass media, Anane Frimpong (Francis Kumi) for his promotion of Ghanaian culture in Italy, Hon Anthony Crisei in recognition of his long service to Ghana taking companies to Ghana and also helping many Ghanaians in Italy to get their documents. Yalcin Cevikel -the Hon. Consul Minister in Turkey ? was given an award in view of his humanitarian assistance to Ghanaians in Turkey whilst Captain Panagiotis Tsakos - the Hon. Consul in Greece, also owner of many shipping vessels? received an award for his contribution to the promotion of education in Ghana having recruited many Ghanaians from the Nautical College and contributed money towards their training.
For once, it appeared the Ghanaian costume at such an occasion have been given a break by the men who attended as they went into a western style fashion spotting black suit with black tie but some of the women somehow provided the missing link coming along in a special embroidered ?kaba? cloth costume. The occasion was also used to raise funds under projects for the Ghanaian community in Italy.
Special guest of honour, Hon. Sampson Kwaku Boafo, MP, Minister of Culture and Chieftancy in Ghana who flew in on the same evening had time to interact with other distinguished guests which included the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana -H.E. Micheal Kima Tabong, the Tanzania Ambassador to Italy, representatives of the City Council in Rome and Lazio, representatives from WFP, FAO as well as Sales Managers of Afriqiyah Airways and Ethiopian Airlines.
In an initial remark, Ghana Ambassador to Italy, H.E. Agyei Amoama, clad in a traditional Ghanaian ?kente? cloth said under the Ghana@50 celebrations in Italy, Ghanaians in Italy have in an extraordinary manner displayed the image of Ghana abroad and commended the correspondent in Italy - Reggie Tagoe - whose ingenuity in the reports on the events he stated has projected the culture and traditions of Ghana further and through many people outside Italy are knowing what the Ghanaian communities are doing in Italy.
Participants tucked into Italian and Ghanaian dishes and when Ghana-based comedian, Agya Koo, dressed in a military-style attire took the stage to entertain them it was fun galore. He picked his words and posture in such manner that the audience were torn into shreds of laughter, some almost falling off their seat. Then came another invitee from Ghana, artiste Kofi Nti, whose songs drew the excited audience to the dancing floor into early hours of the morning.
Ghana?s 50 years of Independence celebration has come and gone but what transpired here in Italy within the Ghanaian community on the anniversary would remain a lasting memory on the minds of all who witnessed these great events on Ghana.