Mrs. Hayford and Mr. Sibek (Trade Officer) presenting award to H.E. Amb. Kwesi Ahwoi.
The audience at the Diplomatic Funfair Prize-Giving Cocktail shouted in unison "Ghana"!, in response to the question by the Master of Ceremony "who wins the best stall award"?
The Prize-Giving Cocktail took place in the evening of Saturday, 29th October, 2016, at the Soutpansberg Guesthouse in Pretoria, after an exciting day of exhibitions, cultural performances, food-tasting and entertainment, which formed part of activities for this year’s Diplomatic Funfair hosted annually by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), at the Union Buildings lawns, Pretoria.
The Diplomatic Funfair serves as a key platform to educate the general public about diplomacy and South Africa’s foreign policy objectives, and bring together Embassies and International Organizations accredited to South Africa to showcase and promote cultural diplomacy through creative expressions such as arts, music and global cuisine, and tradeable goods.
The High Commission, as always, seized the opportunity to display Ghana in full splendor and exhibit made-in-Ghana products. To consolidate Government’s policy of collaboration with the Private Sector as the major booster of the Ghanaian economy, the High Commission invited Private Sector operatives to participate in the fair as exhibitors.
In this connection, Mrs. Josephine Hayford of HayLooks Limited, a Ghanaian International Clothing Company, responded to the Mission’s invitation and was very instrumental in the Mission’s colourful display of Ghanaian garments and accessories at the Fair, which drew large crowds to the Ghana Stall.
The Mission staff were also on hand to take visitors on a virtual tour of Ghana by means of brochures, statistical data, and electronic displays on the various sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
It was therefore very gratifying that Ghana was not only the Judges’ choice but also the audience’ choice of Best Overall Stall at the Awards ceremony later in the evening.
The award comprised a beautifully crafted plaque and two (2) return Airlink tickets from Johannesburg to Capetown
Officials of the Ghana High Commission, led by the High Commissioner, H.E. Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, over the weekend of 21st and 23rd October, 2016, virtually moved the entire Consular Section to the door step of Ghanaians in Mthatha, Kokstad and the northern regions in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
The outreach exercise was aimed at alleviating the transportation, boarding and lodging expenses that Ghanaians in South Africa incur, when they are compelled to travel to the High Commission in Pretoria to apply for biometric passports.
The Executives and Members of the Ghanaian Associations in Mthatha and Kokstad, as well as it’s cell groups across the northern regions, were overly excited at the arrival of the High Commission team and the much-cherished opportunity to apply and process their biometric passports from the comfort and convenience of their cities.
As part of the exercise, town hall meetings were held on Saturday, 22nd October, and Sunday, 23rd October at Mthatha and Kokstad respectively. At both meetings, the Ghanaians marveled at the fact that it was the first time that any High Commissioner of Ghana had visited them and were ecstatic at the presence of His Excellency, Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi. Ghanaians in those cities turned up in their numbers to be part of what they termed “history in the making”.
Addressing the Ghanaians, High Commissioner Ahwoi expressed his delight to meet with them and encouraged them to foster closer relations amongst themselves, and invite others to join the various Ghanaian Associations in their cities. He explained that this would facilitate the Mission’s communication lines and interaction with Ghanaians in the Eastern Cape Province. He intimated that it was the Mission’s policy to encourage the formation and strengthening of Ghanaian Associations, in the context of the Ghana Government’s Diaspora Policy.
High Commissioner Ahwoi revealed that Ghana’s High Commission in South Africa was the first Ghana Mission Abroad to undertake such an outreach exercise using the mobile-pack component of the biometric processing machine, to the benefit of Ghanaians living outside the capital city of host countries. He also noted that the exercise was yet again a demonstration of the High Commission’s commitment to the People of Ghana, wherever they may be located.
Similar successful exercises had taken place in Capetown and Swaziland, a couple of months ago, and others are scheduled to take place in Botswana, Gabon, Durban, and a second exercise in Capetown before the end of the year 2016.
Other members of the Mission’s delegation to the Eastern Cape Province were Mr. Edward Cofie, Head of Consular Section; Mrs. Elizabeth Dodoo, Minister-Counsellor/Information and Diaspora Affairs; Mr. Felix Nyarku, Head of Chancery; Mr. Percy Swanzy, Consular Officer; and Mr. Alfred Mensah, IT Specialist.
CONTENT GHANAIANS WITH AMB. AHWOI(2ND ROW, 3RD FROM RIGHT) AND DEPUTY AMB. OSEI-SARFO (2ND ROW 1ST)
The Swaziland town of Manzini (where Ghana s Consulate is situated) was turned into a scene of funfair when Ghanaian nationals resident in Swaziland were presented with their processed biometric passports by the Ambassador, H.E. Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi.
Addressing the recipients and distinguished guests numbering over a hundred, H.E. Ahwoi, noted that it was the first time in the history of Ghana that a Mission had traveled to a concurrently accredited country to capture biometric impressions and processed same for applicants.
He noted that the package was part of a wider engagement policy aimed at bringing the Mission to the doorstep of the Ghanaian community. H.E. Mr. Ahwoi revealed that the Mission visited Cape Town in a similar exercise and requests had been received from compatriots in Mthatha and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, the KwaZulu Natal Province and Cape Town (for the second time). He also stated that the Mission had accepted a request from Ghana’s Ambassador to Angola, with concurrent accreditation to Gabon, to capture the impressions of our nationals in Gabon and this is scheduled to take place in November 2016.
H.E. Mr. Ahwoi announced that since July 2016, when the Mission commenced the processing of biometric passports, over one thousand one hundred (1,100) passports had so far been printed. He noted that with all the data being accumulated, Ghanaians who for one reason or another need to re-apply for Biometric passports at a later date, could be assisted by the Mission based on their previous records and data.
During the presentation ceremony, most of the recipients expressed joy at the gesture and thoughtfulness of the Mission, and expressed hope that the process would be continued to save applicants the financial implications of travelling to Pretoria, South Africa, to process their passports.
Other members of the Mission’s delegation to Swaziland comprised the Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Francis Osei-Sarfo, the Head of the Consular Section, Mr. Edward Cofie, and the Head of Chancery, Mr. Felix Nyarku.
LES FEMMES - THE ALL FEMALE BAND FROM GHANA ON STAGE
GHANAFEST SA 2016, which commenced on Saturday, 17th September, 2016, with a colourful show of Ghanaian traditional cultural performances, alongside a trade show of apparel, artifacts, made-in-Ghana products, drumming, dancing, and rhythmic musical talents, came to an end on Monday, 19th September, 2016, with a two-day well-stocked business exhibition of Ghanaian textile and garments, Ghanaian processed and canned foods, unique hand woven traditional cloth, bags, slippers, alcoholic beverages, chocolates etc, as well as ready-to-be worn off the rack Ghanaian designed apparel, which were brought in by business operators from Ghana.
Welcoming the large crowd to the event on Saturday, 17th September, 2016, at the Magnolia Dell Park, His Excellency Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, High Commissioner of the Republic of Ghana to South Africa recalled the virtues and vision of our Great African Leader and First President of the Republic of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, as well as his revolutionary leadership in Africa and Ghana in particular, a vision of one united Africa, which the GHANAFEST SA celebration epitomised.
In this connection, H.E. Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi explained that GHANAFEST SA is captured in the context of the bilateral relationship established between Ghana and South Africa which dates back to 25th May 1994, when formal Diplomatic relations was established. The two countries have since then maintained and deepened the diplomatic, political and economic relations underpinned by the signing and implementation of a number of Memoranda of Understandings and Agreements covering various sectors of our development agenda.
In support of the commendable efforts of the Ghana High Commission in deepening the bonds of friendship between the two countries, a Goodwill message was delivered by Ambassador Ganga Tsengiwe, Chief Director/West Africa, of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), on behalf of the Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Honourable Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. He mentioned that as a pioneer of the decolonization process on the African continent, Ghana served as an inspiration and support for South Africa during the latter's struggles. Touching on the African Union's Agenda 2063, he noted that it provides a roadmap that covers all aspects of African life, as is demonstrated by Ghanafest SA, so that national, regional and continental plans become part of a united effort for Africa's development.
Also present at the event was South Africa's High Commissioner to Ghana, H. E. Ms. Lulama Mary-Theresa Xingwana, other Ambassadors accredited to the Republic of South Africa, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Chief Executives of Corporate bodies, among others.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), participated in the event by running a Health Awareness Programme for the general public.
As promised, the Ghanaian all-female live band, "Les Femmes", was on point with musical entertainment that lured the crowd to the dance floor. There was also cultural performances by the Konkomba Association of Ghana in South Africa, the Drum Image Ghanaian cultural group, and South Africa's African Child Dancers.
It was fun-filled, entertainment and educational activities all the way.
GHANAIAN STUDENTS AT UJ DOING THEIR THING ON CAMPUS.
For the first time, Ghanaian students of the University of Johannesburg have actively participated in this year’s International Students’ Festival, which is organized by the University to promote and encourage cultural diversity.
The event which was held on 16th September, 2016, at the Kingsway Campus of the University, saw a colourful display of the cultures and traditions of over thirty participating countries to an audience of over five thousand, including students and faculty members.
The Ghanaian students put together a splendid performance to showcase Ghana’s diverse culture and traditions, and participated in all of the activities of the festival which included a catwalk, cultural performance, display of artifacts, and cooking and serving of local dishes. In the catwalk session, Ghana’s colourful Kente clothe and the smock (Fugu) were displayed.
The students also cooked and served some Ghanaian staples, such as Fufu with light soup, Kenkey with Ghana-style grinded pepper, as well as yam with garden eggs stew.
Together with the Ahenfo Cultural Entertainers, a Ghanaian cultural group based in Johannesburg, the students performed several Ghanaian dances to the cheers and admiration of the university community and the general public gathered for the event.
The Ghana High Commission highly commends the efforts of our Ghanaian students at the University of Johannesburg, and would like to encourage other Student Groups and Associations to take advantage of such festivals, and if possible create avenues, to showcase and project our motherland, Ghana.
HEAD OF CHANCERY FELIX NYARKU(5TH FROM RIGHT) PRESENTING MISSIONS'S PROVISION TO THE NATIONAL CRICKET TEAM
The Under-19 Ghana Cricket Team who arrived in South Africa to participate in the ICC u19 cricket world cup qualifiers Championship from 10th to 20th September 2016, have emerged winners of the tournament.
The competition which was held in Benoni, South Africa saw Ghana compete with Sierra Leone, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, Rwanda and Nigeria. The Under-19 Ghana team won the ICC Africa Division 2 tournament in South Africa by remaining unbeaten in the seven-team competition. The victory allowed Ghana to qualify for the 2017 ICC Africa Division 1 tournament, which will serve as a platform for the competing sides to qualify for the 2019 ICC Under-19 World Cup to be hosted in New Zealand.