Let’s Mobilize For The Future---High Commissioner To UK Papa Owusu-Ankomah
“Experience has showed that no country has developed without mobilizing and harnessing its critical human resources.” This was the call by His Excellency Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Ghana’s High Commissioner to UK & Republic of Ireland during an interaction with the Ghanaian community in Luton, UK on Saturday, 25th November 2017.
The visit to Luton was on the heels of last week’s official engagement of H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to UK. The visit, among others, has ignited so much interest in the Ghanaian story such that, the High Commission is inundated with many invitations and round table discussions on business opportunities in the country.
The visit to Luton also forms part of the Mission’s strategic programme of deepening engagement with Ghanaians resident in UK and also promote the country as a conducive destination in the sub-region for private sector investment. Similar visits have taken the High Commissioner to Liverpool, Glasgow and Manchester.
Mayoral Team comprising of the Mayor of Luton Cllr. Mohammed Ayub, Mayoress Cllr. Naseem Ayub as well as the Deputy Mayor Cllr. David Agbley, who happens to be of Ghanaian descent welcomed the High Commissioner to the town. Other dignitaries included the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Vinod Taylor, Pastor Lloyd Denny (Chair of Luton in Harmony), David Jonathan- Luton Council of Faith, Cllr. Jacqui Burnett, Rev. Bishop David Foh Amoaning and others. In interaction with the Mayoral team, the High Commissioner reiterated his call for partnerships between the Ghanaian private sector and the business community in Luton.
The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Luton in their welcome remarks underscored the positive role of the Ghanaian community in the town and pointed out that Luton is ambitious, innovative and set to become a major player in the UK economy with the launch of £1.5 billion inward investment programme in – the Luton Investment Framework (LIF). It is anticipated that this will transform the town and create 18,500 quality jobs for the local community. Luton, with its population of about 200,000 has over 120 languages,and proud of its ethnic diversity, with about 55% of the population from black and minority ethnic groups including those of Ghanaian descent.
In a brief statement as part of symbolic lightning up the town for Christmas festivities, the High Commissioner commended Luton for building a strong community based on cultural diversity and pointed out that Ghana is well positioned to engage in business and cultural exchanges with the town.
Thereafter, H.E.Papa Owusu-Ankomah, atawell-attended meeting with the Ghanaian community at Luton’s town Chamber reiterated the theme for this year’s 60th Independence Anniversary; “Mobilizing for the Future”, and challenged the diaspora community to bring their expertise and skills to bear on the country’s development agenda. The High Commissioner emphasised the fact that Ghanaians excel in every field of endeavour outside Ghana and the recent OBE lists of Her Royal Majesty the Queen, attest to this fact. He called on members of the diaspora community to channel their innovative resources to enhance the economic renaissance of a new Ghana ‘Beyond Aid’. Being a country noted for the first, history was also made since this happened to be the first time an African High Commissioner has ever delivered a speech at Luton’s Chamber.
The High Commissioner also used the platform to answer questions and highlighted on various government’s initiatives including the Free Senior Secondary School Programme, e-registration of companies, Ghana Card, Paperless clearance of goods from the ports, National Digital Address System, streamlining of land registration, etc.
Accompanying the High Commissioner were George Blankson, Head of Consular and Welfare, Kofi Addo, Head of Trade & Investment and Adoma Dennis, Counsellor, Consular & Welfare of Ghana High Commission.