The Council Of Ewe Associations Of North America


A Non-Profit, Non-Political, Benevolent, Socio-Cultural Organization Of All Ewes  

 

CEANA

 
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CEANA 2007 CONVENTION COMMUNIQUE

 

The 14th Annual convention of the Council of Ewe Associations of North America was held at Ho in Ghana from July 27th through August 5th 2007. The theme for this year’s convention was "Educational Development in Eweland: Focusing on Infrastructure Development".  In the spirit of the theme, the Council performed communal labor to help build a 3-unit classroom complex for the Togbe Kiti Agodoa Junior Secondary School in Sovie in the Kpandu district; and sod-cutting ceremonies for a new classroom block for Tanyigbe Primary School near Ho.

The convention kicked off with the arrival of delegates from the Diaspora on Friday, July 27th, 2007, and a press conference held immediately at the Landing Restaurant at the Kotoka International Airport. After the press conference, participants left for Ho.

On Saturday, July 28th, 2007, a cross section of the conventioneers went on a familiarization tour to Sovie to see the ongoing work at the project site. This was intended to give us a clear sense of what we’ll be doing when we finally get there. In the evening, there was a meeting with the local organizing committee members represented by Ms. Hillary Gbedemah and Ms. Ellen Arkorsah to finalize activities for the convention.

On Sunday, July 29th, 2007, there was an excursion to the Wli Waterfalls. It was very memorable occasion as most were unaware of the beauty of such a place within the region and they reported they really had a nice time.

On Monday July 30th, 2007 we paid a courtesy call on Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia of Asogli Traditional Area and his elders. Togbe Afede XIV and his elders expressed their gratitude for the visit and promised to assist CEANA with its objectives.  We had intended to equally pay a courtesy call on the Regional Minister Hon. Kofi Dzamesi but this was postponed due to his busy schedule. An alternative and hastily planned call was made during the early hours of July 31st prior to the official opening ceremony.

The official opening ceremony of the convention took place on Tuesday July 31, 2007 at the Ho Polytechnic Auditorium. The ceremony was attended by a cross section of dignitaries from the region, including the regional minister Hon. Kofi Dzamesi and Hon. Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd), Minister of Health. Other dignitaries and speakers in attendance were: Hon Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State, Hon Albert Zigah, MP (Ketu South), Hon. Joe Gidisu,  MP (Central Tongu), Togbigah Gabusu VI, President of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs, Togbe Howusu XII, Dufia of Ho Dome and Awafiaga of Asogli, Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Okudjeto, and a host of other divisional chiefs and queen mothers as well as entrepreneurs, businessmen and women and the general public.

In his welcome address, Hon. Kofi Dzamesi, reiterated the relevance of the convention’s theme as he feels that it underscores the undeniable importance of the region as regards its contribution to national development. He stated that Volta Region is noted for her impressive supply of reliable manpower, whether skilled, academic, or professional which are necessary vehicles for national development. 

Hon. Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd) in his brief remarks to the delegates touched on the new Health paradigm and noted that health professionals in the country should incorporate alternative healing into their discipline.  He further took CEANA to task revisit the educational proposal he presented at the 12th Convention in Toronto when he challenged CEANA to initiate the “Best Teacher Award” to boost morale of teachers and subsequently the academic performance of the schools as well as raising the level of competitiveness among the schools in the region.

Togbe Afede XIV, the Agbogbomefia and President of the Asogli State also commended CEANA on its initiatives and commitment to better the lot of students in the region, such as providing classrooms in needed communities, and scholarships to needy students. He also entreated CEANA to delve into income generating or investment activities in the sub-region in general and Eweland in particular so as to improve the lot of Ewe speaking people.

After the official opening ceremony, three (3) main working committees were formed as a result of the discussions that took place during the day. These committees are:

·          The STAR program whose responsibility is for fundraising.  Was charged to come out with efficient ways to improve the current STAR Club initiative  currently in place where contributing members and friends of CEANA are awarded stars based on the amount contributed.

·          The Education committee is charged with identifying ways in which CEANA can improve upon its education outreach and human capital development efforts in the region. Since education is one of the main objectives of CEANA, this group is all the more important if we are to make any meaningful contribution to the lives of our youth.

·          The Economic development subcommittee is charged with finding ways in which CEANA can leverage resources to provide a sustainable development programs that will benefit the people in Eweland. The main idea is to find ways such as investment, entrepreneurial undertakings and other revenue generating avenues through which CEANA can generate funds to undertake its projects.

The various committees met separately and together as a group to deliberate on what they have identified as their goals, ways to achieve the identified goals and resources that are needed to harness to these goals. A separate communiqué, detailing the deliberations would be submitted at a later date but a summary list of recommendations to the Council of Representatives (COR) is included below.

On the sixth day of the convention, August 1st, 2007 the group made an official visit to the Sovie project site. Work on the three (3) unit classroom block is underway but due to the rains, the project did not reach any appreciable level. However, there were enough materials on site to get the work done as soon as rains subside.

On Thursday, August 2nd, 2007, the group went to Tanyigbe for the sod cutting ceremony for the Tanyigbe Primary School project. The occasion was marked with a colorful durbar, well attended by the chiefs and people of Tanyigbe to show their appreciation to CEANA for having identified their community as one of the CEANA adopted projects. Their appreciation was visibly manifested in the way the group was received and the warm luncheon provided in the chief’s residence. In the afternoon, there was a working lunch hosted by the MP of the Volta Caucus at Goldfinger Restaurant which was followed by magnificent cultural performance by the Ziavi Zigi Cultural group.

On Friday, August 3rd 2007, Togbe Fiti, Paramount Chief of Aflao traditional area, led the delegation to Togbe Agorkorli V in Notsie to experience at first hand the migratory history of the Ewe people and the wall from which they ran away from Agorkorli.  This historic as well as cultural and educational visit was short lived due in apart to the fact that apart from the journey being too long, the chiefs and people of Agortime Kpetoe were also waiting for our return to grace their mini "Avormeza" durbar.  The chiefs and people of Kpetoe were so happy to have CEANA in their midst. After taking us through their kente weaving exhibition parlor, the festivities continued amidst drumming and dancing until the close of the durbar around 7 pm, when CEANA delegates were treated to a sumptuous local dinner.

The highlight of the convention was the fundraising dinner dance on Saturday, August 4th, 2007 at the VAG Hall in Ho. The dinner dance saw some problems and did not go well as expected. Among the problems that resulted in a near disaster at the dinner dance were the frequent power outages and the inability of the standby generator to sustain the power requirements for both the band and the lighting of the hall.  Secondly, the hall could not accommodate the large number of people who turned out for the dinner dance because earlier estimates of potential participants, based on the number of registrants were not encouraging, and subsequently, planning for a bigger place was not encouraged. When the turnout became higher than expected, we were unprepared, coupled with the power problems, to meet the expectations of those who turned out to grace the occasion. We are certain that there are some participants who left with a bad impression but are certain that we’ve learnt from this experience and are certain it will not repeat itself in the future.

Sunday August 5th, 2007 started quite early with an excursion to the Keta Sea Defense and Fort Prezenstein at Keta. This was climaxed with an interdenominational church service officiated by Monsignor Kpeglo followed by a spectacular picnic/durbar of Chiefs at the Lorne Beach Resort at Tegbi. Some dignitaries at the picnic were Hon. Courage Quashigah (Rtd), Hon. Albert Zigah, other government officials and chiefs and people in the Anlo and Keta districts. In attendance at the picnic/durbar were various cultural troupes from Atiavi, Tegbi and Keta. The performances by these groups were riveting and breadth-taking which kept the audience attentive at all times.  The merriment, drumming and dancing continued past 8:00 pm before delegates boarded their buses back to Ho, while others left for their respective homes. The picnic/durbar marked the official end of the 2007 CEANA convention.  

COMMITEES

As stated earlier, the three (3) working committees met separately and together as a group to deliberate on what they see as the most fitting approaches to be adopted in advancing the cause of CEANA. At the end of the deliberations, the committees made the following proposal to COR to be considered for adoption by CEANA:

STAR CLUB

  • Star club membership is to be extended to local residents (that is people living in Ghana, Togo, or Benin). Their contribution is to be set at fifty (50) Ghana new cedi to encourage the local residents to participate.
  • Proceeds from the local Star Club should be used to open a local bank account to be used to partially finance identified projects at home.

 

  • Establish a board of directors for CEANA star club – e.g. highest donors should become part of the board of directors.
     

ECONOMIC & DEVELOPMENT/INVESTMENT

  • Invest into income generating activities which will also serve as employment for Ewe youth, and simultaneously serve as an alternative source for financing CEANA projects.

 

  • Seek proposal/grant writers to write proposals to organizations for support.

 

  • Contact Togbe Afede XIV for investment opportunities; either partner with existing ones or have one started by CEANA.

 

 

EDUCATIONAL COMMITTEE

  • Encourage inter district competition with incentives to the winning schools.

 

  • Support schools with information & communication Technology  by providing computers and other peripherals.

 

  • CEANA to support the E.P. University ASAP with either a three-phase generator and or commercial copy machine.

 

  • Establish a best teacher award to boost morale of teachers.

 

  • CEANA should lobby private and public institutions in North America and Europe to set up universities in Eweland.

 

The CEANA would like to thank the President of Rotary Club of Ho, Mr. Kudjordzi for his contribution during the educational committee’s deliberations and for donating a Rotary Crest to CEANA

In sum, the convention can be termed a success, judging from the hospitality shown us and response we’ve been getting from people across the globe. With the exception of the technical and logistical difficulties encountered during the dinner dance, all other scheduled events were a huge success. We thank all well wishers and sympathizers for their support, advice and most importantly, their confidence in our efforts to provide a better future for Eweland.

The next CEANA Convention will be held in Dallas in August/September 2008. "Mia do go le afima fe si gborna."

 The summarized proceedings of the 10-day CEANA 2007 Convention in Ho, Ghana are available on DVD for $10.  Individual events captured on DVD can also be purchased at $5 per event. To obtain copies, contact your COR representatives or write to the CEANA Secretariat at:

CEANA Secretariat & President

 

 
     
 
 

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OF NORTH AMERICA
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