Saturday, March 17, 2007.
Ghana@50 marked in Washington
THERE was a massive turnout at two receptions held at the Ghana Embassy in Washington D.C. on March 6 to mark the historic Ghana’s 50th Golden Jubilee.
The Chancery was filled to capacity with dignitaries, diplomats, government officials, business associates, friends of Ghana and Ghanaians.
The guests, numbering over 3,000, were entertained to live band music by Pat Thomas and Papa Shee amidst cultural performances and dance, after which they were treated to a lunch and a buffet dinner.
In his welcome remarks, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Kwame Bawuah-Edusei, who read a statement from President John Agyekum Kufour, recalled the epochal strides made by Ghana as an independent country.
He expressed the government’s appreciation to all who helped and participated in diverse ways to make the day a remarkable one stating that the celebration of Ghana’s Golden Jubilee was not meant for only Ghana but for the whole of Africa.
Ambassador Bawuah-Edusei noted that “Africans who had been violated and subjugated through Slave Trade and colonialism on that fateful day, succeeded in breaking asunder, the chains of bondage”, therefore, March 6, 1957 changed tremendously, the outlook, the status and the role Ghana plays in the world.
The speech paid glowing tribute to Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his colleagues of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), who he said, launched the last phase of the process towards independence.
Touching on the African Union (AU), which was formed as a successor of the Organisation of African Union (OAU) and which currently has Ghana’s President as its chairman, he noted that its focus on good governance, respect for human rights, sound economic management, vision for a union government for the whole continent, gives ample testimony to the fact that Africa was coming of age.
The acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ms. Carol J. Thompson, who represented the United States Government, traced the cordial relations between Ghana and the U.S. back to the 1960s when the Peace Corps volunteers first set foot in Ghana.
She noted that the bonds of friendship had been strengthened over the years to encompass various fields of cooperation, stressing that the assistance granted Ghana through the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) attested to the relationship between the two countries.
The celebration, which started with a seminar on economic emancipation and multicultural show, featured the Ambassador of the Republic of Nigeria, Professor George A. Obiozor, Dr, George B.N. Ayitey, an Economist at the American University and President of the Free Africa Foundation and Dr. K.Y. Amoako, former Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa and Member of the Commission for Africa.
The discussions focused more on Ghana’s political landmarks and socio economic development from the early days of Independence to present time.
The speakers urged all particularly, Ghanaians in the Diaspora to take advantage of the congenial economic atmosphere to invest in the various sectors in the country.
TIMES WEEKEND - Saturday, March 17, 2007 Page: 11