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Diasporian News of Friday, 6 October 2006

Source: Ghanaian News Canada

Editorial- Akwaaba Lady Margaret Ghana High Commissioner to Canada

A new Ghana High Commissioner to Canada, Dr. Margaret Ivy Amoakohene, officially assumed office on Tuesday September 26, 2006 when she presented her Letters of Commission to the Governor General of Canada, Her Excellency Michaelle Jean, at her official Provincial office and residence at La Citadel in Quebec City. She is the second High Commissioner to Canada since the Kufour administration came into office nearly six years ago.

A number of High Commissioners from Ghana have had the honor of serving in Canada over the past twenty-five years. Some have been progressive, others not so progressive, Some have been open, others not so open. And others have worked quite closely with the Ghanaian communities across Canada while others did the exact opposite, being close to secretive in their business dealings and interactions with the Ghanaian communities in Canada. Some have cooperated and collaborated with the community media headed by yours truly, the versatile Ghanaian News in the dissemination of information and news while others have at best just tolerated the media.

It is heartwarming to note that the new High Commissioner whom we will prefer to address as Her Excellency Lady Margaret, is very knowledgeable in media issues having been a university professor in Communications as well as host of programs in the electronic media in Ghana prior to her new appointment. Her immediate past experience in the media will hopefully propel her to chart a new course of interaction with the local community media and most importantly in her relations with the wider Ghanaian communities across Canada.

In her new role as Head of Ghana's Diplomatic Mission in Canada, which is among the top five in Ghana's Diplomatic postings (London, Washington, Ottawa, Bonn and Paris are the top five), the new High Commissioner assumes a very heavy responsibility. As mentioned before, there have been others before her who set quite impressive and not so impressive records. Much is therefore expected of her. We expect her rich media, communications, social and political experiences to come into play during her tenure of office.

We welcome Her Excellency into office with the hope and expectations that she will rise to the occasion and be a worthy ambassador of the Land of Our Birth. We expect her and her office to be more open. We expect her to reach out more to the Ghanaian communities outside her mission offices in Ottawa and Toronto. Gone forever should be the days when members of the Ghanaian community in Canada were mistreated and disrespected at their own High Commission in Ottawa and their satellite Consulate offices in Montreal and Vancouver. The High Commissioner should strive to be the representative of ALL Ghanaians in Canada. The days when Ghana's High Commissioners to this country and their staff were seen and regarded to be covertly and overtly looking after the interests of their political party members only should be over.

There are large Ghanaian communities outside Ottawa and Toronto. Instead of being present at every social and religious event to which she will definitely be invited to in Toronto, she should make every effort to stay in frequent touch personally with other Ghanaian communities in Montreal, Halifax, Winnipeg, Regina/Saskatoon, Edmonton/Calgary and Vancouver. And her forays into the Ghanaian communities should not be limited only to national day celebrations, religious and social events. They should be on-going and sometimes initiated by the Mission itself.

As she rightly noted in her remarks to the Governor General, Canada is one of the most important political and economic development partners of Ghana. We hope Her Excellency will work hard to improve on this excellent relationship between our two nations.

Once again, we welcome Her Excellency Dr. Margaret Ivy Amoakohene to Canada and to her new position as the High Commissioner of the Republic of Ghana to Canada. We look forward to working closely with her and wish her and her family all the best.