26.04.2005 Diaspora News

G.O.R.A. Launched

By P.Senayah.
G.O.R.A. Launched
LISTEN APR 26, 2005

Ghanaian Overseas Residents Association (GORA) is inaugurated in Switzerland, Bern, under the Theme: "Diaspora for Development (D4D). Attending the inaugural ceremony were His Excellencies Dr. K. Bawuah-Edusei, Ghana's Ambassador to Switzerland and Austria, Mr J. U. Ayalogu, Nigeria's Ambassador to the U.N. office in Geneva and to Switzerland, Rev. Dr. Nii Coppoe Aidoo of the Lighthouse Chapel International and Mr. Heiner Studer, Swiss Member of Parliament.

Delivering her welcome address, the moderator and Chairperson for the occasion, Mrs. Dr. Abena Keller-Agyepong who is also the President of the Okwahuman Association of Switzerland among other things, related GORA to a huge tree under which Ghanaians in the Diaspora could gather and make decision that would promote the development of their motherland. In his opening address, the Chairman of GORA Mr. Albert Adzayi applauded the present Government under Mr. J.A.Kuffuor for not hesitating in acknowledging the enormous contributions being made by Overseas Residents towards the development of the country. The Ambassador Dr. Bawuah-Edusei asked Ghanaians living abroad to consider themselves diplomats.He said," Dispersed all over the length and breadth of the world, Ghanaians interact with peoples of divers backgrounds. Their conduct therefore, informs perception and decision on Ghana. Whether Ghana is a safe place or and ideal location for business and investment, a country worthy of exploring and whethere Ghanaians are trustworthy people, no amount of publicity on investment opportunities in Ghana can replace the personal contacts and impression we give others". He added that,"Ghanaians living abroad are therefore, in a stragetic position in the partnership aimed at Ghana's development" During his turn to address the gathering, His Excellency Ambassador Ayalogu praised GORA for initiating such a movement aimed at bringing Ghanaians in the Diaspora under one umbrella with thier skills and knowledge acquired abroad for the development of their country. He said that Nigerians in the Diaspora had already started such a movement called, NIDO (Nigerians In the Diaspora Organization) therefore GORA was not alone. "There is an African partner to work with". He added.

Mr. Emmanuel Nmai, Trade Economist from the University of Bern and Economic Consultant to the African Union office in Geneva stated in his speech that remittances from Overseas Residents had become the third largest earner after cocoa and gold for Ghana therefore, there was a great need for a solid collaboration among the remittance associations, the host countries and the home government to create the framework for a solid institutionalized remittance system for predictability reliability and accountability. Mr. Heiner Studer encouraged GORA to work towards the intergration of Ghanaians within the socio-economic system of the host countries to enable them gain more skills and self sufficiency. As a token of participation and appreciation, Mrs. Abigail lamptey, Chairperson of GHABA presented souvenir of GORA to the various speakers.

Other dignitaries attending the ceremony include the President of the Ghana Union in Freiburg-Germany, Mr. Kwame Ofei-Yeboah. The President of Ghana National Union of Como- Italy, Mr. John Obosu. General Secretary of the Ghana Besonef Association. Mr. Kwame Twumasi, the President of the Nigeria Union of Switzerland and the co-ordinator of the Swiss African Forum.

Catering service was provided by Mrs. Mercy Adakwa, Mrs. Augustina Duah, Mrs.Abigail Lamptey and Mrs. Pamela Spicher. A Ghanaian Cultural group from Italy, Como entertained the crowd. PIC: sitting dignitaries, from left is Mrs. Bawuah-Edusei, H.E. Dr. Bawuah-Edusei, H.E. Joseph U. Ayalogu, Mrs. Dr. Abena Keller-Agyepong.

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