“LET’S RISE AND BUILD A GHANA BEYOND AID” SAYS HE PAPA OWUSU-ANKOMAHadmin
Ghana’s High Commissioner to UK & Republic of Ireland, HE Papa Owusu-Ankomah has reiterated a passionate call on Ghanaians in Portsmouth to join hands with Ghanaians back home in building a Ghana Beyond Aid. The High Commissioner made the call during a dinner dance and official launching ceremony of the Ghana Association of Portsmouth (GhAP) held in Portsmouth last week Saturday. In attendance were the Rt.Hon. Penny Mordaunt Secretary of State for International Development and MP for Portsmouth North, His Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Lee Mason and Bobby Mehta, Director of University of Portsmouth Global Affairs.
Portsmouth is a dynamic and vibrant waterfront city with proud naval and maritime heritage and host a lot of Ghanaian students and British Military forces of Ghanaian descent. The event last Saturday was witnessed by one of the largest crowds ever with participants drawn from all sectors of the economy. The platform was also used to showcased rich Ghanaian culture, music, dance, food and various articles of traditional fabrics including kente, ear rings, beads, bags, sandals, etc.
The High Commissioner in his address informed the gathering that since he assumed duty as Ghana’s High Commissioner for the UK and Ireland a year ago, one of his primary goals, was to reach out to Ghanaians resident in the United Kingdom and Ireland to further deepen the diasporan engagement which already exist with the Mission. He commended the executives for such a wonderful gathering and intimated that, this was beyond expectation. These engagements had already taken him to Glasgow, Milton Keynes, Luton, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Hull. The High Commissioner pointed out that he has been encouraged during his interactions by the sheer range of talent among the Ghanaian diaspora in every sector of the economy.
In reference to Ghana Beyond Aid, the High Commissioner quoted from HE the President’s 61st Independence Anniversary speech which he stated as follows: “Aid was never meant to be what would bring us to a developed nation status. A ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ is a prosperous and self-confident Ghana that is in charge of its economic destiny. To get to a Ghana Beyond Aid, we will have to effectively harness our own resources and creatively and efficiently deploy them for rapid economic and social transformation. It requires hard work, enterprise, creativity and a consistent fight against corruption in public life. It is will also require that we break from a mentality of dependency and adopt a confident can do spirit, fueled by love of our dear country and not subordinate the common goal to build a prosperous nation to the selfish interest of a few.”
Touching on the fundamentals of the economy, the High Commissioner indicated that the Government’s economic management team has performed creditably well to the admiration of both local and international bodies and the economy is tipped to be one of the best performing in sub-Saharan Africa this year. In addition, the High Commissioner touched on some of the critical initiatives and programmes being pursued by the Government to build a prosperous nation. These included:
- The implementation of the Free Senior High School Education Programme, which has already seen 90,000 more Senior High School admissions in 2017 than in 2016. This will increase the educated and skilled workforce to be able to operate in an economy that is becoming more and more sophisticated;
- The launch by government, on 8th February, 2018, of the Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship Programme;
- The Planting for Food and Jobs Programme, which commenced early last year and has already signed on over 200,000 new farmers, igniting a fresh interest in farming;
- Establishment of the National Builders Corps to employ at least 100,000 youth in 2018 to assist in public sector service delivery in health, education, agriculture, sanitation and revenue collection;
- Establishment of the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
The Rt.Hon. Penny Mordaunt Secretary of State for International Development and MP for Portsmouth North, in her speech touched on the excellent relationship between UK and Ghana and informed the gathering that UK sees Ghana as a true partner for development. The Hon. Member also lauded the political leadership in Ghana for the various initiatives and interventions and commended the diaspora community for their contributions in every sector of the UK economy.
The Chairman of Ghana Association of Portsmouth Isaac Baidoo in his address expressed his special gratitude to the invited guests and commended the executives for their dedication and patriotism. He disclosed that the Association is generally made up of Ghanaians and friends of Ghana to support their welfare. He urged other Ghanaians who are not members of GhAP to join the Association where their expertise and skills could be harnessed for development. An appeal of fund was also made in support of provision of portable drinking water in targeted areas in Ghana.
The Ghana High Commission used the platform to deploy its mobile passport machine to capture some of the residents in Portsmouth and its environs who had applied for the issuance of the biometric passports. This exercise has taken the Mission to Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, Dublin and Milton Keynes.
The High Commissioner was accompanied by the spouse, Mrs. Augustina Owusu-Ankomah, Kofi Addo, Head of Trade & Investment, Asher Safo, Welfare & Consular, Darlington Aheto, Protocol and Eric Yeboah, Officer in charge of IT Section.