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Diasporian News of Friday, 16 March 2007

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SANKOFA a Franco-Ghanaian Friendship Association is formed at Toulouse

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Ghana’s Independence a group of 3 Franco-Ghanaians and a French national residing at Toulouse, in the region of Midi-Pyrénées, southern France registered today (6th March 2007) at the prefecture of Haute-Garonne a Franco-Ghanaian Friendship Association, simply referred to as SANKOFA.

The formation of SANKOFA comes at a time when there is an uncertainty surrounding the revival of the Ghana Community Association of France based at Toulouse which has been dormant for sometime now. The need for the creation of an organisational structure to develop socio-cultural programmes and activities (apart from funerals and other family gatherings) expressed by a cross-section of the Ghanaian community at Toulouse became imminent. SANKOFA therefore takes up the challenge to promote Ghana and the Ghanaian culture within the French multicultural setting.

SANKOFA (which literally means “go back to retrieve”) exists now to tackle a fundamental problem in Franco-Ghanaian relations. Here in France, Ghana as a country, its people, history and culture is less known to the French people. Although geographically Ghana is boarded by francophone countries, its Anglophone affinity makes it less known to the French people.

The main aim of SANKOFA is to increase the knowledge of French people about Ghana, and the mutual understanding of the cultures between the two countries.

Consequently, the Association is to promote programmes and activities that would bring a more closer relationship between the peoples of the two countries, paving way for a more durable integration of Ghanaians and the expansion of the Ghanaian influence in France, and inversely exposing and asserting the francophone environment known to Ghanaians back home. Within this optic the objectives of the association are : a) to encourage cultural diversity in developing socio-cultural exchanges between French and Ghanaians; b) to promote and support the creation and the diffusion of Ghanaian arts and crafts in France; c) to bring communities to develop their logic of integration and international cooperation through cultural activities; d) to promote and accompany socio-economic projects within the framework of the French governments’ decentralised cooperation policy; e) to inform and accompany Ghanaians and Franco-Ghanaians in France who wish to establish or implant their socio-economic enterprises in Ghana.

Membership of SANKOFA is open to all persons and groups. Membership include Ghanaians living in France, French nationals, as well as non-Ghanaians who are interested in the affairs of Ghana and the unique Ghanaian heritage.

SANKOFA’s vision is to become a laudable international non-profit organisation working closely with other socio-cultural groups, governmental and non-governmental institutions to promote friendship and unity, cooperation and cultural exchanges between the peoples of France and Ghana.

The formal launching of SANKOFA is scheduled for 30th June 2007, when it would expose its strategy and plans to achieve its aim and objectives.

Until then watch out for its website !!!