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19.03.2012 Diaspora News

PROUD GHANAIAN COMMUNITY IN BRADFORD CELEBRATES 55th INDEPENDENCE BIG TIME

By KWAME OFOSU-WARE
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Ghanaians in the Diaspora continue to celebrate the 55th anniversary of Ghana's independence, with the Ghanaian Community in Bradford, being the latest to host Ghana's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Prof. Kwaku Danso -Boafo and the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Mrs Naveeda Ikram at the Mirage in Bradford last Saturday, March 10, 2012.

Speaking at the banquet organised by the Ghanaian Community under the theme “THE MIDDLE INCOME GHANA:THREATS AND OPPORTUNITIES OF THE SOCIO-POLITICAL LANDSCAPE” to run off activities marking the anniversary, Prof. Danso -Boafo recounted events that led to the attainment of Ghana's independence and said the country has come a long way since then with her achievements in democratic transition, consolidation, and economic engineering.

He said the day Ghana attained independence was very significant in the struggle by many African countries to gain independence as it gave many Africans the hope that their struggle for self -government would not be in vain.

The High Commissioner said that Ghana, 55 years ago became the leader in the struggle for liberation, independence, and unity on the African continent. Today, we continue to be an oasis of peace, the shining black star and a beacon of hope for all Africans.

He touted the government's prudent economic measures, saying it has made Ghana one of the fastest growing economies in the world and gave the assurance that Prof. Mills' will continue to uphold the Constitution and implement effective economic policies.

His Excellency urged the Ghanaian Community to take advantage of the growing Ghanaian economy by investing in Ghana.

He commended the Ghanaian Community for being the best Ghanaian Community in the United Kingdom for the year 2011 and urged them to work harder in the years ahead.

The Lord Mayor of Bradford, Mrs Ikram was full of praise for the Ghanaian Community and said she was very proud of them for helping in the success story of Bradford.

She told the Ghanaian community that her doors were always open to them and assured them of any assistance they would need with the organisation of their activities and thanked them for being law abiding members of the Bradford community. The chairman of Ghanaian Community in Bradford, Mr. Wisdom Setaklah, later awarded well-deserving members of the community.

As a prelude to the main event of the day, Prof. Danso -Boafo had a “face to face” encounter with leaders of the Ghanaian Community in Bradford to discuss some national issues and their concerns on how Ghanaian professionals in the Diaspora could seek employment at home and also Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) regulations on shipping of personal belongings to Ghana.

Mr. Caleb Agbeshie, Secretary to the Ghanaian Community in Bradford, who moderated the meeting, opened the meeting with the difficulty the community in Bradford face seeking information about developments in Ghana.

Prof. Danso- Boafo explained that in this electronic age, it was not difficult at all to search for information but cautioned the audience to check the veracity of the information they receive/ read. He reiterated that when in doubt, people should check with the High Commission by visiting its website at www.ghanahighcommissionuk.org, its facebook or twitter or call the High Commission at 02072015927/ 02072015924

A member of the High Commission's entourage, Mr. George K. Fynn, Minister Counsellor for Trade and Investment at the High Commission, took the meeting through the processes and procedures Ghanaians in the Diaspora would have to go through in shipping their personal belongings to Ghana and how they can seek information on how to clear their goods from the ports and the Customs duty to be paid on vehicles they send home.

Explaining how CEPS goes about the charges/customs duty on vehicles, Mr. Fynn explained that the features of vehicles are taken into account and they determine how much duty an importer pays for the kind of vehicle he/she ships to Ghana.

He directed the Community to google “Auto Masters” on the internet to access information on estimates of how much they would be paying on personal belongings, including vehicles shipped to Ghana. Mrs Beatrice Zakpaa Vib-Sanziri, Deputy Commissioner of Police and the Police Liaison Officer of the High Commission spoke about the security and safety situation in Ghana by providing updates on what the police was doing to ensure personal safety. She invited potential travellers to Ghana to contact her if/when they have personal safety issues. Mr Edward Cofie,Minister-Counsellor responsible for Consular Affairs, explained the processes of acquiring passports and provided details of the High Commission's automated Consular services.

On those aspiring to setup businesses in Ghana, Mr Fynn asked them to seek information from the High Commission in London and they would be directed as to what to do.

At a time when youth crime is on the increase in the United Kingdom and two Ghanaians have already become victims of knife stabbings, a member of the Bradford Ghanaian Community had asked when the next Youth forum for Ghanaian Youth in the United Kingdom, was going to come off after the one held two years ago

Prof. Danso- Boafo revealed that the Task Force on the Youth had commenced work on the next Forum to be held in October in London. He also announced that arrangements were on-going for the second all Ghanaian Students and Graduates Conference.

The meeting also discussed issues about Electricity and water in Ghana and how the government is doing everything possible to provide reliable and affordable services to reach greater majority of Ghanaians.

KWAME OFOSU-WARE,
KOW Media Consults.

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