Diasporian News of Friday, 24 September 2010

Source: Desmond John Beddy

Ghana community in Hamburg goes to the polls

The Ghana community in Hamburg will be going for poll on 9th of October, 2010 to elect new Ghana Union executive members. Does it wealth to maintain old executives or replace them entirely? It is the wish of general public that those who have taking the back seats and specialised in criticism could be coming forward to be voted for. We are therefore encouraging every Ghanaian irrespective of colour, race or religion to step up to vote and be voted for.

Updating the executives could be a perfect idea, kicking out the inactive ones, and bringing in few energetic, dynamic and visionary ones. Every Ghanaian in and around Hamburg should cease this golden opportunity to come to vote or be voted for. The urgency of the situation is such that the constitution shall be over looked on that very day. We pray we don’t fall to the “Book Laws.”

The above captions came to light when Ghana’s Ambassador to Germany, Mr Pau l King Aryena and Mr. Desouza, Head of Counsel met the Ghanaian community leaders in Hamburg on Saturday 4th of September 2010 to interact with the opinion leaders.

The principal issues which occurred were the current miserable situation of the Ghana Union in Hamburg, The Constitutional Amendments of the Union & the Constitutional Review Committee visit to Germany. Hamburg is home to about 7.000 Ghanaians. The community by far the largest Black -/African community in Hamburg, has rather become an Iceland within a community. We are almost absent when ever the German authorities meet the African community. We are yet to take our proper place in the system.

For the first time in the history of Ghana Union Hamburg interaction meeting was very constructive and almost free from the usual personal attacks and counter-attacks. I could say it was very successful interaction indeed. All taboo and OPEN SECRECTS issues were spoken frankly. Infact, others argued that The Union does not exist but the executive members have different opinion of that point of view. Permit me to say it existed but was under performing.

One can authoritatively say the approach initiated by His Excellency was perfect. He put diplomacy aside and spoke the language the people understand best, calling a spade a spade and his choice of words fitted the occasion very well. This motivated participants to voice their contribution openly without fears.

Below are some of the taboo issues talked about.

Distrust for one another: leadership is a collective team work, working to agree and disagree with one another. It is however, disastrous when members work against one another.

Unpatriotic! The average Ghanaian in Hamburg is more interested in the Ga-Dangbe, Union, Asanteman Union, Ewe Union, Brong Ahafo Union and recently town unions are the trend. The ethnic identity and grouping is too strong for us to have a united and visible Ghana Union.

The Pull Him Down Syndrome! Why is it difficult for us to understand that the more successful individuals we have the better it is for our collective development as a people? Most of our kids are going round looking for places to do practical courses without finding one. Please let us be more focus.

The churches were not spared; surprisingly the very people who are in the church every Sunday were those questioning the church & its Social responsibilities. This is where I got confused. They expect the churches to go beyond the spiritual services.

The community is home to many WAR LORDS, every body wants to be seen, people seeking positions in other to occupy front seats at gathering, forgetting there are responsibilities’ attached to the positions. The sad thing is the division has eating deep into the youth as well.

His Excellency who assumed to be the chairing the occasion at a point insisted we should concentrate on how to move forward, as the list of the problems seems to be endless.

It came to attention that the Unions lacking PR and Marketing strategies. Others were on the views that we should develop strategies that could help market the Union. We understand that there are a lot of expects in our mist who could help in that direction. Therefore, the incoming executives should be alert.

The most arguable question put to his Excellency was what could be done to help reduce the poor farmers back home. Even though this question was a bit out of agenda for the day hence it was thoroughly look at. He said economic and political complications makes it difficult to implement policies arrived at. If you increase taxes on imported food stuff the traders get mad and subsequently pass it on to the end consumer. I personally think the situation is much more complex, subsidising local production alone could not help the situation. We need Cultural Revolution. Ghanaians love everything foreign; give them “Fufu” for free they will still go for unaffordable perfume rice. Until we “Produce what we eat” & “Eat what we Produce” no governmental decrees or laws can help us.

Another sad development is that families are loosing their kids to German homes, this could mostly be associated to clash of cultures and the constant pressure to satisfy our family back home, thereby having long working hours to earn the needed cash to solve down town problems.

In the course of perusing this agenda, we are compelled to neglect our kids. His Excellency stressed the need for a functioning Ghana Union which could help parents address such shot falls.

Poor PISA results could to some extent, attributed to the gradually increasing percentage of foreign kids in Germany. I have always insisted that Integration is a DUAL BAND process. We must not only expect the authorities to facilitate our smooth integration into the Germany system, but as a community in a foreign land we need to put the right structures and mechanism into place so as to be competitive. The possibility of 2 out of 20 of Ghanaian kids entering Universities are very slim. This is unacceptable. A functioning, dynamic, well meaning and visionary Ghana Union is not only good for the Ghanaians but to the German authorities as well. The authorities are very desperate to reach an organised Ghanaian community. In a recent developments the Ministry of Education Hamburg was eager to reach the community, this was however not possible because the community exist only in words.

The truth is no Ghanaian business small or big is ready to sponsor “Forums” & “Brain Storming” programs. Our beloved community is more interested in Party’s & Funeral and not educative programs.

Interestingly most of the invited guests were present to brain storm and find a lasting solution to our Ghana Union standoff. Fellow Ghanaians let us cease the opportunity help save the Ghana union and save ourselves as well. All devoted, committed and patriotic Ghanaians should make themselves available on the 9th of October 2010 at the Alter City Hamburg- Denhaide. His Excellency Mr. Paul Aryene informed the gathering “The Constitutional Committee” delegates shall be in the country in November. They shall visit Frankfurt and Hamburg. The dates and venues shall be communicated to the general public at the appropriate time.

Desmond John Beddy http://www.topafric.com