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Diaspora (USA) | Jan 4, 2005

GNC-Chicago President's Remarks

Reuben Hadzide-President

The Ghana National Council of Metropolitan Chicago's President's Remarks after he was sworn in yesterday PREVIEW

On behalf of the Executives, I expressed our deepest gratitude to everyone for reposing confidence in us to lead this noble body. We promise not to let you down. We however, indulge you to give us a minute to share with you a gist of how together we are going to use the political capital you have given us today.

Lest I forget, I thank the rest of my executives for volunteering to serve our community and embark on this journey with me. History will judge your decisions to be part of this journey very worthy!

In the next few weeks, we are going to preoccupy ourselves with restructuring the Ghana National Council, GNC, and put in place plans for achieving some of our collective goals. The following are few of the programs we envisage to embark upon.

GHANA HOUSE:

We are going to put Ghana House back on the fast track. Should you ask us if we need a Ghana House, the response will definitely be, it's overdue. We are going to put in place a committee of dedicated Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians to help the GNC achieve this noble objective.

Meanwhile, we are going to do our best to have an office within three months. The value of an office for this august body cannot be overstated.

CONSTITUTION:

We plan to put in place a committee that will look into the present constitution and come out with possible amendments within 8 months of taking office. The present constitution is riddled with resolutions, making it look like cut and past document. At times it baffles us, that because of expediency, we pass resolutions just to override a constitutional provision!

Personally, I prefer term limits to president's term of office, but that will be for you to decide in the near future.

HISTORY

Ladies and gentlemen, any organization that has lost its past is a lost institution and an organization that does not remember its past leaders is not merit dying for.

We intend to task a committee to look into the history of the Ghana National Council. We expect that within 6 months, the committee would have a document that will tell the story of this organization and recognize people that have put in their time, money and hard work to make it possible for us to be at where we are today!

BOARD OF ADVISORS

We plan to form hands-on advisory board as stipulated in the constitution. Its membership shall constitute members of the community and council.

AWARDS

You will agree with us that presently, we do not have criteria for giving awards. It's about time we form a committee to study past awards and come out with guidelines for the recognition of deserving candidates in the future.

FUNDRAISING

We cannot achieve our objectives if we do not have money.

We are going to form proactive fundraising committee that will seek donors for the council's programs and projects. Members of this committee may be from the council or the community.

FINANCE

In the absence of a permanent finance committee, we propose ad-hoc committees to evaluate every major event of the council and review the financial books at the end of each year. If I say major events, I don't mean Ghanafest and Independence anniversary celebrations only, we intend to bring other events like children's programs such as summer camp etc. This we believe will supplement the work of the treasury and create check and balance.

We will also propose that the council form a committee to review the present financial structure of the council and come up with recommendations within three months.

GHANA

Article X111 of the council's constitution requests the council to set aside a percentage of membership dues and annual profit for development purposes. Under the present administration, we will identify development projects in Ghana to sponsor.

NEWSLETTER

It is our hope that the council will start a bi-monthly newsletter to promote activities of the council and in our community.

CONCLUSION

Ladies and gentlemen, fellow council members, we are not here today to bore or frighten you with the task ahead, but to remind you that we have a lot of work to do, if we intend to move this council forward.

Thank you.

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