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Diasporian News of Thursday, 2 August 2007


Voices from Chicago GhanaFest

At the just ended 19th Anniversary Celebration of Ghana Festival in Chicago, the outgoing Minister of Public Sector Reform, Hon. Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom observed that "Ghana is now a better Country today than it was from 1992 to 2000, because the economic, political and social fronts indicate that Ghana has overcome many of the difficulties that were present at the end of NDC regime in January 2001.

He also noted that two factors have prevented the Ghanaian Economy from taking off as the former President of Ghana Mr. J.J Rawlings wished and the Golden Age of Business from happening as President John Agyekum Kufour would like. The first of the two factors is Excessive Partisan Politics - this is the politics of exclusion, the politics of winner-takes-all, the politics of patronage. It kills initiative, prevents the best people from making the contribution they should make to solve our problems, makes governing expensive and encourages corruption.

Hon. Nduom said that when excessive partisanship takes over, some people in the ruling party (N.D.C, N.P.P, C.P.P) consider Government as "THEIRS". They think members of the opposition should not get government contracts, positions, board memberships, and even leadership positions in the public services. He noted that the second factor is ill-will and hatred which lead some to wish the Private Sector to fail. They tend to believe that businesses belonging to those who do not support their party should not succeed and members of the opposition also tend not to offer any good advice that will allow the Government of the day to succeed. By so doing, opportunity is denied Ghanaians and as a result, the economy does not grow as it should and the nation remains poor and under-developed.

"What Ghana needs is a firm and aggressive policy of domesticating the economy. We must put Ghanaians at the centre of the private sector in Ghana . The job of government is to prepare its people and give them the necessary opportunities to overcome inexperience.

Hon Nduom said that he believes in inclusiveness because in all we do as a people whether in Government or the Private Sector, the results affect all of Ghana and not certain ethnic groups or members of political parties alone. He said he believes in merit because that is how a nation achieves its competitive advantage.

The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister Hon. Ignatius Bafour Awuah, who was the Guest Speaker of the well organized Ghanaian cultural show in the Diaspora, urged Ghanaians in the Diaspora to uphold their culture since every group are identified by their culture. “Though you are far from home you have to be very proud of your culture", he said. Hon Bafour Awuah noted that Ghana is the Black Star and gateway to Africa after attaining independence, and credit should be given to our fore-fathers for the role they played to sustain the beautiful culture of Ghana to date. The affable Minister for the Brong Ahafo Region challenged them to invest back home in terms of Technology, the Education Sector, Health Sector, and remittances since mother Ghana needs all of their meaningful contributions. "Please never forget that you are residing in someone's country, be respectful, law abiding, hardworking and above all God fearing, because by so doing you will stay out of trouble,” the political head in the Brong Ahafo Region advised.

The President of the Ghana National Council of Metropolitan Chicago, Mr. Reuben Hadzide in his remarks expressed the council's gratitude to those who have contributed immensely to its success by making sure that the celebration of Ghana Fest is always done in grand style. He noted that since his outfit took over the administration, they have passed resolutions and amendments to the council’s constitution and made it possible for the affiliated organizations to have more voice in the affairs of the council. "We have streamlined the process with the establishment of a committee for oversight of awards, using clear cut guidelines, nomination procedure, and impartial fair selection process". Mr. Hadzide explained.

Nana Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, the first Paramount Chief of the Brong Ahafo Region in Chicago , urged the youth to take their books very seriously saying that "Education is the best weapon and legacy for any parent to bequeath to their children.”

Nana Addae Baffour, the Paramount Chief of Ashanti Region in Chicago also on his part asked the youth to learn hard and cherish the rich Culture of Ghana, by learning dances such as Adowa, fontomfrom, Kete, Borborbo and the other traditional cultural dances. He asked parents to encourage their children to be proud of their Ghanaian culture

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