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07.11.2021 Press Release

Alliance Of Ghanaian-Canadian Associations Strengthens Ties Between Ghanaian Culture, Commerce And Ghanaian-Canadian Communities

Ghanaian-Canadian associations launch alliance for representation and capacity building Saturday, October 30, 2021
Alliance Of Ghanaian-Canadian Associations Strengthens Ties Between Ghanaian Culture, Commerce And Ghanaian-Canadian Communities
07.11.2021 LISTEN

The inauguration of the Alliance of Ghanaian-Canadian Associations (AGCA) marks a milestone in the progress of Ghanaian communities in Canada. This provides a unified platform of Ghanaian-Canadian associations from coast to coast. The launch was celebrated by Canadians and Ghanaians worldwide, and its

inauguration ceremony was broadcast live from Toronto, Ontario.

In opening remarks, Mrs. Claudette Opoku-Achampong, President of the Ghanaian-Canadian Association of Fort McMurray praised the vision and diligence of Association Presidents and the unwavering support of the Ghana High Commission, “We applaud this rare opportunity for cooperation between the Ghana Mission in Canada and the Ghanaian-Canadian communities at large.”

His Excellency Mr. Anselm Ransford Sowah, Ghana’s High Commissioner-Designate to Canada, noted the launch as “a pivotal moment in the mobilization of our diaspora in Canada”. As the first opportunity to address Ghanaian-Canadians, His Excellency Mr. Sowah extended greetings from His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana, and Honourable Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. His address highlighted the Ghana Mission rollout of enhanced diasporan services and encouraged Ghanaian-Canadians to embrace their individual and collective roles: “You are natural bridges for increased business flows between Ghana and Canada. You have a deeper understanding of both countries that you call home. Ghana and Canada will count on you to be at the forefront for accelerating people-to-people exchanges, academic exchange programs, tourism and investment flows.”

Following his remarks, Her Excellency Ms. Kati Csaba, Canada’s High Commissioner to Ghana broadened the theme of national partnerships and the benefits of people-to-people ties. “Having you together on a single platform will no doubt make internal coordination smoother and more harmonized. It will also provide Global Affairs Canada with a clear point of contact for our outreach to the Ghanaian diaspora.”

Ghanaian dignitaries shared goodwill messages from branches of government. Ms. Nadia Adongo Musah, Deputy Director for Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, acknowledged the journey from vision to reality. “As the Diaspora Affairs Office of the President, we welcome and celebrate the formation of the Alliance of Ghanaian-Canadian Associations, which we believe will strengthen ties between the Government of Ghana and the Government of Canada. This alliance is also needed to give voice to the number of Ghanaians spread across Canada.”

Keynote speaker Dr. Martin La-Kumi illustrated the history of Ghanaian migration to Canada and the founding community groups and associations. He pointed towards the evolution of Ghanaian-Canadian social identities, saying “We are giving back through constructive services and contributing positively to the socioeconomic development of Canada. By consolidating the different Ghanaian cultural groups into one umbrella association, the AGCA, Ghanaians in Canada are now poised to earn well-deserved provincial and federal recognition, and to actively engage with provincial governments for productive community development”, to audience applause.

Mr. Emmanuel Duodu, AGCA President, took the stage once the executives were sworn-in and spoke of the need for unity, “to unite behind causes that will advance our community.” He underlined that unity in other ethnocultural groups meant that “inside their community they would have disagreements, but outside of their community, they are united,” to enthusiastic applause. Mr. Duodu urged the audience to lend support to Ghanaian-Canadian civic candidates, and seeks to create an organization where Ghanaian-Canadians “can leverage the potential we have throughout the country.”

The executive to lead AGCA for the next two years are:

Mr. Emmanuel Duodu President
Mrs. Claudette Opoku-Achampong Vice-President
Dr. Charles Quist-Adade Secretary
Dr. Charles Odame-Ankrah Organizing Secretary
Mr. Robert Bismark Otoo Financial Secretary
Dr. Anderson Assuah Executive Member
Mr. Jonathan Mpere Executive Member

The event brought Ghanaian art and culture to life, with a moving interlude of inspiring vocals from Ms. Bernice Asamoah and Mr. Ebenezer Amoah, accompanied by Mr. Emmanuel Behome. “It is our intention to bring innovative artistic programming to a global audience through a presentation of home-grown Ghanaian and Canadian music and dance,” remarked Dr. Charles Quist-Adade, AGCA Secretary.

AGCA was founded in 2021 to foster collaboration among member associations and stakeholders, for the advancement and wellbeing of all. AGCA objectives include:

  • Liaise and collaborate with the Ghana High Commission and other stakeholders in culture, education, trade, and migration;
  • Expand bilateral ties between Ghana and Canada;
  • Empower and build capacity of member organizations; and
  • Facilitate the formation of new Ghanaian associations to promote diversity and inclusion in Canada.

With the successful launch of AGCA, in the coming weeks the leadership intends to collaborate with stakeholders such as the High Commissions of Ghana and Canada, the various associations, resource persons and members of the community at large to roll out programs to empower youth, mentorship events, business incubation labs, and other initiatives as part of a broad strategy to nurture the AGCA to deliver on its mandate.

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