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05.04.2006 Diaspora News

Ghanaians in Oslo Celebrated Ghana’s 49th Birthday

By Peter Ohemeng -Oslo

Ghana's 49th independence birthday was celebrated on Saturday the 25th of March in Oslo's popular Sagenes Festivitetshus, courtesy to The Association of Ghanaians in Oslo, Norway. Like Ghanaian associations around the world, the government and the people of Ghana, the Oslo Association has plans for grandeur Golden Jubilee Celebration next year. However, this did not diminish this year's traditional Sixth March Celebration and get-together. This occasion usually provides an opportunity for Ghanaians to display their rich culture, get to know each other and, above all, to celebrate and honour their attainment of right to self-governance. The occasion raises more excitement upon the fact that Ghana was the first country in the sub-Saharan Africa to achieve this status. No matter the differences among the people of Ghana, this occasion provides a national pride which tends to unite them wherever they find themselves.

The 49th Independence Celebration which was scheduled to begin from 20.00 [Central European Time] gathered momentum from around 22.00. Serving of Ghanaian dishes was first on the agenda. Members and all participants were offered free Ghanaian dishes but were asked to pay for drinks. The gathering began with a welcome address by the Chairman of the Association, Mr Kobla Agbota. He used the occasion to give a special welcome to the representative from the Ghana Embassy in Copenhagen, Mr. F.W Yao Ekar, the Consular Minister, representatives from Associations of Nigeria, Sierra Leone and all other well wishers. The chairman thanked all members for their support and introduced the members of both the current and previous executives. He also introduced the theme for this year's celebration which was “Investing in Ghana and Ghanaian Entrepreneurship in the Diaspora.”

The next on the agenda was the keynote address which was delivered by Mr. Festus Adjei Lartey. He hailed the Diasporans' investments in the building sector but urged them to consider taking opportunity in other areas like agriculture, trading of goods and services and tourism. Mr. Festus Adjei Lartey used the occasion to exhort Ghanaians wherever they are to patronize Ghanaian businesses and products. This, he said, will enable such businesses to flourish.

On his part, Mr. F.W. Yao Ekar, expressed the Embassy's gratitude for the invitation and offered a special greeting from the Ghana Ambassador in Copenhagen, Her Excellency Maureen Abla Amematekpor [who could not attend the function]. Touching on the theme for the anniversary, the Consular Minister argued that having attained political independence from the colonialist, the focus should remain on sustaining the independence through the strengthening of the country's economy. He pointed out that the Nation has enormous potential in trade, tourism coupled with rich natural resource endowment and a well-educated workforce. Ghana, he went on, is rated as the most investor-friendly country in the West African sub-region by the World Bank, 9th among 41 African countries and 82nd among 155 countries surveyed across the globe. The Nation, he emphasised, prides itself with stable and dependable political, social and economic stability.

The night was full of good Ghanaian dishes, hiplife, highlife, and cultural music and dancing. Also on the agenda were poem recital, solidarity and good-will messages. It was delightful to watch men and beautiful ladies dressed in rich Ghanaian kente and other traditional outfits. The night was concluded with music jamboree and the floor was electrifying. The floor was irresistible and many participants [including myself] grabbed the opportunity to exhibit dancing skills.

MC for the occasion was Mr. Baba A. Kankani. Closing remarks were delivered by the vice President of the Association, Ms Amina Mahama. The night, which coincided with the beginning of summer time in Europe, successfully came to an end at around 04.00 CET.

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