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Diasporia News of Sunday, 17 February 2008

Source: - Reggie Tagoe in Parma

Ghanaians in Italy to hold National Conference

... Torino to host the Big Day event

A National Conference for Ghanaians in Italy is to be held on June 21 in the Italian city Torino.

The decision came out of deliberations at a general meeting of the Council of Ghanaian Nationals Association in Italy (COGNAI) held in Parma.

Twenty-nine delegates representing various Ghanaian Associations in Italy, among them from Vicenza, Novara, Lecco, Parma, Brescia, Verona, Bologna and Reggio Emilia met to discuss issues confronting the Ghanaian community in Italy and propose programs for the year 2008. The meeting was chaired by the President of the Council, Omari Somuah.

General Secretary, Gilbert Abasimi, speaking before the delegates said COGNAI is now being recognised abroad and called on Ghanaians in Italy to join hands and make it stronger and a more viable organisation.

The National Conference, which would be termed, ‘The Annual National Ghana Conference in Italy’, will jointly be organized by COGNAI and the Ghana Embassy in Rome. It will address a major sector of Ghana’s social, cultural, economic and political issues and the objective will bring alive Ghana to the minds of the Ghanaian Diaspora in Italy and tune him/her on the state of progress in Ghana. It will also be an occasion for many stake holders of Ghana, living in Ghana, to share and confront their activities, ideas, philosophies and in working towards the progressive future of Ghana.

Among key figures to be invited will include the Ghana Ambassador to Italy, Honorary Consuls of the Ghana Embassy in Italy and some Ministers of State of the Ghana Government to give a representation of development programs and activities of their relative Ministries. “In this way a prospective assessment of the progress of the Nation can be analysed and discussed,” says the General Secretary of COGNAI, Abasimi.

Apart from various Ghanaian Associations in Italy that will be present, the Council will also throw an invitation to Ghanaian Religious Groups in Italy (Christians and Muslims), the various Ghanaian chiefs in Italy, Business Companies and Co-operatives, individual Ghanaian entrepreneurs, Foreign entrepreneurs operating in Ghana but residing in Italy, Miss Ghana in Italy and other important Ghanaian national figures in Italy. The event would be interlaced with Ghanaian Traditional Music and Cultural performances.

The Council among other matters reviewed celebrations of Ghana’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary in Italy last year marked with great success and the Miss Ghana in Italy event hosted in Vicenza. Participants agreed to celebrate Ghana’s 51st Independence anniversary again in Vicenza with the Miss Ghana in Italy 2008 to be hosted by the Reggio Emilia Association in July.

Meanwhile the Council will organize a special seminar on April 26 in Novara to bring together expertise, including Italians, who will brief participants on various areas of business investments. Part of the seminar would also be set aside to give a presentation that will help leaders of the various Associations towards effective running of their local Associations.

Among other programs proposed during discussions were, Women’s Day, a quiz to be centred mostly on Ghana, Gospel Concert that will embrace various Ghanaian churches in Italy coming together to perform and Ghanaian cultural activities, all of which would be hosted by the local Association with guidelines from the Council.

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