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Diasporian News of Sunday, 24 June 2018

Source: Joseph Kingsley Eyiah

Ghana Canadian Chamber of Commerce holds business ‘meet and greet’ in Toronto

On Saturday, June 23, 2018 the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Ontario (GCAO) business wing, Ghana Canadian Chamber of Commerce (GCCC), hosted a business meet, greet and network event at Ghana Presbyterian Church building in Toronto. A diverse group of professional and business subject matter experts attended.

Addressing stakeholders of the event, Mr. Emmanuel Duodu, the President of GCAO recounted the trajectory of Ghanaians to Canada and the different phases of community evolution.

He spoke about the strengths of our community in communal grieving and support when a member of the community passes, strong churches, associations and disparate business groups.

Mr. Duodu said there was a need to grow and strengthen the businesses in our community and sensitize our youth and even our aging population to venture into businesses or self- employment. Mr. Duodu quoted Charles Darwin “it is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those that can best manage change”.

He encouraged everyone in our community with all the skills, talents and businesses to network to build our community.

The pace of economic change means that there is no job for life hence the need to look out for supplementary opportunities in businesses. The stronger the chamber the better it will be to open doors for our community for businesses and job opportunities.

Mr. Odoi Yemoh the acting President of the Chamber thanked all who made the time to attend the event. He encouraged all to register for the chamber and make use of the benefits by registering to be a member of the chamber.

Mr. Odoi highlighted the benefits among others, connecting with other businesses, discounted price for advertising on the Chamber website, access to periodic newsletters, access to diverse group of talents in the chamber for mentoring and career planning, access to the twin organization Diaspora Engagement Think Tank (DETT) members for expertise. As a Chartered Accountant and a Tax expert he encouraged all to get involved in the chamber.

Dr. Victor Awafo Chairman of GCAO Board of Advisers and Chairman of the Diaspora Engagement Think Tank (DETT) shared with the team the work the Think Tank is doing with the census of Ghanaians in Toronto.

He together with Professor Joseph Mensah, Dr. David Firang, Mr. Gabriel Odartei, and Mr. Emmanuel Duodu have been working on the framework to firm up the numbers about Ghanaian population in greater Toronto area and the myriad of skills (Skills Bank) in our community and how best to use this database to help our community for planning, networking and engaging agencies and organizations for sourcing purposes.

Mr. Larry Kutuadu GCAO Treasurer, who is a Chartered Accountant by profession in his contribution, said we should anchor our community on business mindset and proper management of our resources. He encouraged all to take financial literacy seriously to avoid debt and to be self-sustaining

There were contributions from some of the attendees including Chris – Founder of Max International, Jude Botchway Real Estate Realtor; Ms.Vivian Ofori GCAO Youth and Women wing; Mr. Kojo Jackson Financial Advisor, Sun Life Financial; Mr. John Ireland, Financial; Mr.Emmanuel Ayiku – Publisher and Editor in Chief – Ghanaian News Toronto; Gabriel Odartei – GCAO Executive Secretary and Managing Director, Ghanalinx; Dr. Dada, Canadian Institute for Leadership Development, Mr. Brako Acquah, Information Technology Expert; and Mr. Bashish – Insurance Advisor.

The recurring theme from all of the participants hinged on the need to create opportunities for our community by networking, patronizing products and services in our community.

Mr. Brako Acquah a member of the GCAO and Chamber Communication team advised all to focus on substance rather than sheer numbers in our engagement. He narrated a story of kids from humble beginning who through dint of hardwork and perseverance are now very successful business raking in millions.

The leadership charged the chamber to explore areas in Ghana Bonds sale in Canada and the Credit Union for our community.

Mr. Odoi charged the participants to educate themselves in tax planning to avoid tax issues with CRA. His experience has been lack of tax planning sometimes lead to unpleasant experience with CRA.

Mr. Duodu in his closing remarks thanked the participants and expressed the optimism about the growth of the Chamber and the Think Tank. He closed off by saying that the essence of these programs and essential organs of the GCAO, is to help enhance the living standards of community members, create opportunities and wealth creation. He asked all to stay tune for the fall events coming up.