OFFICIALS OF GHANA STATE BOOK PROJECT TEAM VISITS SOUTH AFRICA
Two officials of the Ghana State Book Project namely Mr. Isaac Botchway, Lead Researcher, and Mr. David Dontoh, Director of Communications, paid a working visit to South Africa from 7th – 12th October, 2017, as part of an initiative to link Ghanaians in the Diaspora to its roots, through the organization of a Ghana State Book Diaspora Forum.
Ghana State Book Project (formerly Ghana History Book Project) was created in 2007 to undertake intensive research to publish State Books which will contain all traditional histories of Ghana. The project aims to create a comprehensive historical reference book for each traditional State, in all the ten (10) regions of Ghana.
As part of the exercise, the project seeks to link Ghanaians in Diaspora to their root, and to educate Ghanaians abroad (both adults and children) about their history and culture, hence the Ghana State Book - Diaspora Forum. The Forum aims at participation of the Diaspora in the production of State Books in Ghana, a Diaspora State Book Project, and also a Ghana Culture & Tourism Forum in Diaspora.
The Ghana State Book Project has successfully produced five State books, namely, Awutu State Book, Techiman State Book, Offinso State Book, Hwidiem State Book and Tepa State Book. The remaining 275 State Books to be produced are scheduled to be completed within ten (10) years.
South Africa was the first destination for the Diaspora Forum, and the officials took advantage of the Ghanafest SA programme which was held on 7th October 2017, to launch its activities. Thereafter, a town hall meeting was also organized for a cross-section of Ghanaians in Pretoria on 8th October, 2017.
A Committee of Ghana State Book Diaspora – South Africa, made up of volunteers and one representative of the High Commission, was inaugurated by Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, H.E. Mr. George Ayisi-Boateng on 11th October, 2017. The officials also presented a copy of the Offinso State Book to His Excellency the High Commissioner.
GHANAFEST SA 2017 - A RESOUNDING SUCCESS!
A bird's eye view of the Magnolia Dell Park in Pretoria, South Africa, on Saturday, 7th October 2017, was characterized by the colorful splendor of rich Ghanaian culture and regalia, music and traditional performances.
The 7th edition of Ghanafest South Africa was the ‘showstopper’ event of the Gauteng Province on that day. Teeming crowds of Ghanaians, South Africans and other nationals trooped to the park to be a part of the celebration of the rich heritage of Ghana. Indeed Ghana was on display on that day, and left its indelible foot prints on the psyche of all present.
His Excellency Mr. George Ayisi-Boateng, Ghana's High Commissioner to South Africa, welcomed guests to the event in a brief speech, which aroused the expectations of the crowd, an expectation which was fully satisfied by the end of the event. He also called on all Ghanaians to own the Ghanafest event, as a flagship programme in South Africa, with a multi-faceted purpose of promoting Ghana's culture, trade and entertainment potential.
H.E. Mr. Ayisi-Boateng also led a delegation of VIP Guests made up of colleague High Commissioners/Ambassadors, Leaders of Ghanaian Communities/Associations, as well as potential investors, through the various exhibition stalls that had been mounted to display varied made-in-Ghana products, from cuisine to hair and skin products, clothing and fashion accessories. There was trading activity on the grounds, and business was booming.
Over the years, a traditional display of Ghana's Chieftaincy regalia, apparel and accompanying dancers have become one of the hallmarks of Ghanafest SA, and this year's set up represented the Ashanti as well as Nzema Chief and Queenmother, each with it's unique variations.
There was drumming and dancing, in such exciting melodies that is characteristic of Ghana, and the crowd jubilated with the performers. A surprise appearance of "Agya Koo", Ghana's renowned actor, comedian and musician on stage, tremendously charged the atmosphere and the crowd reeled with excitement. Later in the evening, Ghana's 'Bisa Kdei' also took to stage and performed some of his hit songs in the unique Ghanaian genre of music labeled "high life".
By the end of the evening, all guests, organizers and participants of this year's Ghanafest SA, had come to the conclusion that the guiding theme of this year's event "Bringing People together for a Golden Experience" had really transposed into reality, in fulfilment of what Ghanafest SA 2017 promised to offer.
GHANAFEST SA 2017
The 7th edition of GHANAFEST SA, Ghana’s annual cultural, trade and entertainment festival in South Africa is scheduled to be held in Pretoria at 12:00 noon on Saturday, 7th October, 2017, at the Magnolia Dell Park, under the theme “Bringing People Together For a Golden African Experience”.
This year’s theme is drawn from the vision of Ghana’s First President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, who declared the Independence of Ghana from British Colonial rule, 60 years ago, on 6th March 1957, but noted on that day that the “Independence of Ghana was meaningless unless it is linked-up with the total liberation of the African Continent”. African success is therefore achieved and won in togetherness,…. in bringing people together.
In this connection, GHANAFEST SA 2017 is focused on bringing people together to celebrate Ghana’s 60th Independence Anniversary with a golden African experience, and also to commemorate how far the African Continent has come over the decades.
GHANAFEST SA, has steadily become an important calendar event in South Africa, which seeks to showcase and educate South Africans and other Nationals resident in South Africa about Ghana’s rich cultural heritage. It also aims at fostering unity and a sense of patriotism among Ghanaians in South Africa, as well as to promote cultural understanding and deepen the cordial relations between Ghana and South Africa.
The event serves to exhibit Ghanaian textiles & clothing, music & dance, cultural & traditional dances, apparel & artefacts. It will be an opportunity to taste Ghana’s traditional cuisine such as fufu & goat light soup, waakye, ripe plantain and beans stew, kenkey and fish, as well as Ghana’s famous jollof rice.
Cultural performances from both Ghanaian and South African Cultural Groups will be on display to depict the unity and culture of the two countries.
There will be a special featuring of sensational Ghanaian musician “Bisa Kdei” from Ghana, as well as the “Black Motion” Group from South Africa, that will spice up the atmosphere with abundance of rhythmic sounds of music to entertain and entice visitors to the dance floor.
There will be for sale, smart/casual and formal kente clothing and Ghanaian fashion designs for both male and female, Ghanaian artifacts, cosmetics, delicious traditional Ghanaian food, herbal products and other made in Ghana products.
GHANAFEST SA 2017 is an event for the whole family. Bring the children along to enjoy a fun day of face painting and bouncing castles, and to expose them to the diversity of African culture. Raffles will be drawn, as well as competitions in several outdoor and indoor traditional Ghanaian games, with opportunity to win interesting prizes.
It is an open event, with no entrance fee, and all are cordially invited.
The Pretoria Mission, which is fast gaining recognition for its support for the lesser sports, on 1st September 2017 made a donation of fruits and drinks to the National Cricket team which was in South Africa to participate in the Group A, ICC World Cricket League Division 5 which took place at Benoni, Johannesburg from 3rd to 9th September, 2017.
Making the presentation, the Head of Consular Section, Mr. Edward Cofie and the Head of Chancery, Mr. Felix Nyarku commended the team for coming this far and assured them of the Mission’s continued support. The team was informed of a promise by the High Commissioner, George Ayisi-Boateng of a special Ghana meal if they performed well in their matches. On his part, the team manager, Mr. Emnanuel Owusu-Ansah Asare assured the Mission of the team’s determination to make a good showing.
The team performed creditably, beating the Cayman Islands by six wickets and Vanuatu by two wickets. They, however, lost against Germany and Jersey, the eventual winners who claimed the title.
True to his word, H.E. George Ayisi-Boateng ensured that a special package of kenkey and fish was delivered to the team to the joy of the players.
The High Commissioner, H.E. George Ayisi-Boateng met with the Ghanaian community of Cape Town in Khayelitsha on Friday 22nd September, 2017 as part of the Missions engagement with the Ghanaian community.
Attended by over 200 compatriots, the High Commissioner was ushered into the meeting grounds in a cacophony of noise by a visibly enthused community most of whom were seeing the Head of Mission for the first time barely a month after arriving in the country to assume duty.
In his dialogue with the community, the High Commissioner thanked the gathering for coming out in their numbers to welcome him, intimating that it was an indication of a long-term fruitful relationship. Extending greetings from the President, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the Head of Mission noted that while he had been appointed by the President, following the mandate given by all Ghanaian nationals to the ruling party, he was in South Africa to serve all compatriots and his doors were open to everyone.
He congratulated the Ghanaian community for being law abiding and encouraged them to come forward with business proposals and investors willing to take advantage of the conducive investment climate created by the government of Ghana.
The Head of Mission enumerated a number of positive strides chalked by the government such as the introduction of the free SHS policy, the National ID Card and socio-economic projects.
During the question and answer segment of the programme, a number of issues were raised bordering on the need to increase the duration of passports from five to ten years, the need for national ID cards to be issued to Ghanaians in the diaspora, challenges in obtaining birth certificates for children of foreign nationals born in South Africa and the need for the Mission to help Ghanaian nationals to regularize their stay.
In his closing remarks, the High Commissioner encouraged the Ghanaian community to continue respecting South African laws and called on the various Ghanaian associations to work together for the common good of Ghana.
The Mission seized the opportunity to capture the biometric impressions of many nationals who needed Ghanaian passports for printing in Pretoria.
In a related development, H.E. George Ayisi-Boateng held a fruitful meeting with a group of Cape Town businessmen who are interested in investing in various sectors of Ghana’s economy. The discussions met H.E.’s pleasure which he describes as forming the basis of his presence in South Africa (ie attracting businesses to invest in Ghana).
Under a directive by the High Commissioner H.E. George Ayisi-Boateng for the Mission to take advantage of important social engagements to market Ghana, the High Commission on 3rd September, 2017 mounted a food stand as part of activities to celebrate the 60th anniversary of St. Pius X Catholic Church in Waterkloof, Pretoria which was held at the Church, premises.
The heavily patronized event was graced by the presence of Ghana’s Ambassador to Tokyo, HE. Mr. Parker Allotey, coincidentally a former member of the church who was in the Eastern and Southern African Region on an official engagement.
The Ghana stand received many visitors who grabbed Ghana’s trade leaflets; chocolates and consumed all the food on display mainly Yam and Garden eggs stew, spinach stew, waakye and meat stew, jollof rice among others.
The occasion was a huge success with some parishners making enquiries about immigration requirements to enable them visit Ghana.