27.09.2004 Business & Finance

EXPO 2004 ends in splendour

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From Gideon Sackitey, GNA Special Correspondent Atlanta, USA

Atlanta (USA), Sept. 27, GNA - It was splendour, majestic and most colourful and by all intents and purposes surely to stay in the minds of the large crowd that witnessed the second durbar held by the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II outside Ghana, at the Georgia World Congress Centre in Atlanta, Georgia in the untied States on Sunday.

It was an event that saw the Ghanaian community in the United States presenting themselves in their resplendent Kente clothes nearly filling up the Congress Centre with many cameras to place on record an event that is so rare and unique by all standards.

The three-and-a-half hour event, which formed part of the items lined up to wrap up the Ghana EXPO 2004, is the second one after a similar one in London last year.

The durbar brought together Ghanaians from all parts of the United States to share this unique moment with their African American brothers, many of whom believe it was good as it brought alive to them again their roots.

Also present at the durbar were Divisional Chiefs of the Ashanti Kingdom or their representatives; Mayor Shirley Franklin of City of Atlanta; Mr Fritz K. Poku, Ghana's Ambassador to the United States, Mr Isaac Osei, High Commissioner to the UK; Mr Samuel K. Boafo, Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Kwesi Abeasi, Chief Executive of the Ghana Investment Promotions Centre, Mr Sal Doe Amegavie, Chief Executive of the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce; leaders of the Ghanaian Communities in the US, Captains of industry in Ghana and Atlanta.

In a brief statement, Otumfuo Osei Tutu called on American investors to come to Ghana and explore the natural and human potential of the country.

"I call on you all to come to Ghana and invest your money and your talent and you will definitely make good returns. The Government is ready to lead the way by providing the right atmosphere for development," he said.

He said Ghana abounded in talent and huge natural resources, which required the technological expertise in America.

"This is the only way by which we could have a most rewarding relationship between our two countries," he said.

Asantehene commended Ghanaians resident in Atlanta and in the US for not only working to make a living, "but working hard to build bridges that are capable of securing a sound and secure future for posterity". He said Ghana had reached a stage of development where the Private Sector was taking the centre stage and being in the right place.

"Time was when every development issues was left for Government agencies to execute. The time has come for the Private Sector to rise up and be counted and I believe that this is the time and could say that the Private Sector is doing just right."

The Asantehene said Ghana had a dynamic young workforce ready and willing to partner with their American counterparts to transform their economies into fruitful and profitable ones.

"I see Ghana EXPO 2004 as a major milestone by which Ghana and Africa will take the opportunity to show that the Private Sector is capable of meeting the challenge. Let it be said that it was at Atlanta, Georgia in the United States that these dreams were born and fulfilled." Otumfuo Osei Tutu referred to the Pan African Festival of Arts and Culture (PANAFEST) saying it was an event reuniting peoples of African descent to one cultural heritage that must be exploited to the full.

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