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Diasporian News of Wednesday, 19 March 2008

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51st Independence Anniversary Celebration in Paris

The Ghanaian Community in France Association has colourfully celebrated the 51st anniversary of Ghana's Independence. The occasion took place last Saturday, 08/03/08 at Saint-Denis La Briche near Paris.

Nana Mike Donkor (AsantefokuoHene) and Ohemaa AdwoaKour (Ghanafohemaa) graced the occasion. They were supported by Nene Edna Akplah (Krobohemaa), NanaOnyina (Mmerantehene) and Nana Gyau (Atwimahene). The Moslem community was represented by Alhaji Bashir, President of the Ghana Moslem Assembly in France. All Ghanaian churches brought their highest delegation. Rev. Peter Obeng led Bethel Ministry, with Rev. Amparbeng of Miracle Time, Rev. Ntim of the Assemblies of God, Rev Julius Osei Wusu and Rev. Sammy Asiedu of Action faith, Prophet Annor Emmanuel of Rejoice Chapel, Elder Charles Asare of Pentecost, and Bro. Kwabena of the SDA Church. They all came with a cross-section of their congregation.

Personalities like Prof. Osei Kwasi Richard a former lecturer of Nanterre University, Dr. Doe Prosper a Research Fellow at Nancy University, Mr. Doe Junior an Engineer at AREVA were all present. Author Daucia, and Mrs. Mary Amoako of APAE children Association and her various dancing groups came to add that Ghanaian cultural festive touch to the celebrations. Majority of the Executive Board of GHACIF were present to boost the occasion.

The celebration was under the joint chairmanship of Mr. Osei Ababio and Officer George Quist. Mr Ababio in his opening address gave a complete history of Ghana’s socio-economic development since its independence 51 years ago. Officer Quist, in a similar address, urged GHACIF to go a step further towards Ghana's development and overlook challenges, hatred and jealousy because these are the immediate enemies of every successful group. He said no Ghanaian can disregard what GHACIF is doing for Ghanaians in France and Ghanaians at large. He said “go forward for the Ghana that you love”.

Nana Mike praised President Kuffour and his government for their good tenure of office. Prof. Osei Kwasi Richard gave lectures on the various items on the symposium supported by Dr. Doe of Nancy who had earlier on advised GHACIF to feel safe if it could count on even only 3 very active members. M.C. Sly and M.C. Maafia mastered the ceremony. 2000 Euros was raised to support ‘Have-Nots’ in Ghana. The Webmaster Nana Sarpong Dumorine with Madam Janet decorated the hall with the colours of Ghana.

This is an annual celebration done by GHACIF since 7 years of it's creation. This years was a step ahead. Next year we expect our friends who couldn't make it to come and give us more energy to serve our mother Ghana and Ghanaians.

GHACIF PATRONS RECEIVE CERTIFICATES OF FUNCTION.

All the GHACIF Patrons who were at the Independence Day Ceremony received their certificates of function.

In a short ceremonial break, the Chief Patron Pastor Peter Obeng ushered them into office. He was assisted by the Independence Day Program overseer Pastor Godwin Amparbeng and General Secretary Dr. Andrews Acquah-Caesar.

On behalf of the Ghanaian Community in France Association, the President congratulated them and told them that their wisdom and energy was required to cruise the GHACIF cause.

Thankfully they all promised to do their best to sustain the goodness of GHACIF.

51st INDEPENDENCE DAY SPEECH BY THE GHACIF PRESIDENT (HON. OSEI-MENSAH MICHAEL) AT SAINT DENIS PARIS 06/03/2008

Joint-Chairmen, Nananom, Dear Pastors, Dear Moslem leaders of our Community, My dear Compatriots, Friends of Ghana , distinguished ladies and gentlemen. Good evening and welcome to Ghana at 51 in Paris.

Last year, Ghanaians all over the world celebrated a historical landmark of Black African History . It is no secret Ghana was the first Black African country to attain independence. At periods like these, we need to take stock of our progress and shortcomings. This will permit us to look into the future with greater confidence in view of a prosperous country.

Let us consider the peace prevailing in our country after the numerous political dislocations. Let us consider the strides in the world's infrastructure of which Ghana has wisely grabbed its portion. Today, to God's glory, oil has been discovered in our country.

Kwame Nkrumah has become an African monument, Kofi Annan has pioneered Blacks to the head of the United Nations Organization. At long last, our Blackstars have participated with honours in the world's last football festival. We just hosted CAN 2008, Ibn Chambas is still an ECOWAS pride for Ghana . Our President Kuffour who will soon terminate his mandate has contributed his quota. Let us all stand up and clap for these heroes.

Of course all is not completely well with our country. That is why we need to give it a push. Until recently, Ghanaians suffered acute energy crisis with adverse consequences. Malaria is still a problem for our people and as if misery in Africa wasn't enough, H.I.V. Aids keep hunting us at every corner. Last year, Ghanaians in the northern part of the country lost their homes and properties through heavy rain storms and floods. Furthermore most Ghanaians are still unable to pay NHIS premiums of 20 Ghana cedis to get access to the free health care that the Government strived to introduce in Ghana. I salute the Ghanaians in the Diaspora and those in France in particular for their remittances and investments etc. across which Ghana is being built. Our Community is growing fast with its diversities. Our increasing churches, ethnic associations, Moslem associations and expanding youth. More than ever, the contribution of our quota is required for our people.

This is why today GHACIF is calling on all of us here, to commit ourselves and co-ordinate our efforts, talents, patriotism and above all solidarity for the benefit of a maximum number of victims of poverty and disaster in our country. We have done it with you before. In year 2006 our community across GHACIF association sponsored 100 Ghanaians for their National Health Insurance Scheme premiums.

In 2007, our Community helped 230 people in Northern Ghana to reconstruct their homes which had been destroyed by a flood disaster. Let us all at this juncture applaud Prof. Nana Osei Richard who quasi-sponsored the operation with his 2ATP Transport company.

The battle is not over, the theme of today's celebration is the « Diasporan Ghana Nation Building ». Today I congratulate all assembled here for your smart turn out. Let us all inject another sense of solidarity into ourselves and seek to build Ghana for many happy returns and 'Home-Coming' without tears. GHACIF has projects of housing the homeless in the future but for today, we are appealing to you to help us buy more NHIS premiums for people in need. Help GHACIF to contribute to the reconstruction of homes in Northern Ghana. These are ongoing solidarity projects. In God's name, help us to sustain them for our unfortunate brethren.

My dear compatriots, my love for Ghana is without dimension and I believe that of yours is the same. Whilst we embark on the rescue of 'Have-Nots' in our country, let us wish ourselves a happy Independence day celebration.

Long live the Republic of Ghana Long live France our host country Long live the Ghanaian community in France. God Bless You All!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!