The Council of Ewe Associations of North America (CEANA)
celebrated their 20th annual convention from August
30 to September 2, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency
McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois. The theme for
the Convention was “Building Educational
Infrastructure for the youth, women’s health and
nutrition in Eweland”. This theme was chosen to
enable the CEANA Council deliberate on the
educational and healthcare issues facing Eweland.
The focus of the 2013 convention was to raise funds
for the Tanyigbe School project, and awardscholarships to
students in Ghana, Togo and Benin.
The convention activities started with the arrival
and registration of guests on Thursday, August 29,
2013. In the morning of Friday, August 30, the CEANA
Council held a meeting of delegates drawn from the
15 CEANA member Associations from cities across the
United States and Canada. Mr. MacGeoffrey Kutor, the
President of CEANA, and Mr. William Adzimahe,
Executive Director, opened the Council meeting with
a welcome message to the delegates.
The morning’s business included a review of the
organization’s activities for the past year, and
approval of a program and budget for the next year.
Friday evening continued with a special dinner
reception organized by the CEANA 2013 Organizing
Committee for the leadership of CEANA. Later in the
evening the teeming guests were treated to a
cultural performance from the Ewe Associations of
Chicago and Washington DC. The performances were led
by Mr. Eseli Normanyo-Nutakor, and Torgbui Gideon
FoliAmenyo III, a traditional leader and renowned
professor of Ewe culture in the US.
The CEANA General Conference started on Saturday
morning with an introduction of the three invited
speakers, namely, Dr. Padmore Agbemabiase, a
professor of English, Education, African-American
and African Studies, and a renowned Ghanaian poet,
playwright and scholar; Dr. Prosper Doamekpor, youth
development specialist for extension programs at
and Dr. Cyril G. K. Fayose, President of Evangelical
Presbyterian University College (EPUC) in Ho.
In their addresses, the speakers expressed concern
for the deteriorating levels of literacy, poor
funding for basic education, and gender disparities
in school enrolment
and allocation of healthcare resources in Eweland,
Dr. Doamekpor provided a compelling strategy for
encouraging positive youth development in order to
increase competencies needed for youth development.
Dr. Agbemabiase stressed the importance of girl
child education, and also recommended action for
gender parity in the school districts of Eweland.
Dr. Fayose outlined the pioneering role that the E.P.
University College is playing in the Volta Region
toward the provision of tertiary education for the
youth. He appealed to competent lecturers in the
Diaspora to make their skills available to the
The Saturday evening banquet was presided over by
two of Eweland’s experienced MCs, Mr. MawuliAgbenu
of New York and Mr. Steve Dei of Chicago. The
evening commenced with the arrival of dignitaries,
followed by intricately adorned traditional leaders
who displayed the rich Ewe culture. The chiefs were
led in procession by the Volta Ensemble cultural
group from Washington, D.C. in a performance that
showcased the unique cultural dances of Eweland. The
keynote speaker for the banquet was his Excellency
the Ambassador of Ghana to the United States, Mr.
Ohene Agyekum. Mr. Agyekum praised and encouraged
CEANA to continue to strive to improve the lives of
people back home through physical projects and other
educational and social initiatives. The highlight of
the evening, the annual Star Fundraiser, drew
contributions and pledges from the 400 banquet
attendants. The impetus for the 2013 fundraiser was
the completion of a JSS classroom block that CEANA
had approved the previous year.
The landmark event of the 2013 CEANA Convention was
the inauguration of Dr. Peter Nat Abotchie as the
first elected CEANA President with a 3-year mandate
to lead the organization, under the newly amended
CEANA Constitution. Dr. Abotchie acknowledged
delegates for the honor bestowed upon him and
pledged to work with the CEANA Council to move the
organization’s agenda forward. Late in the evening,
the honor and mandate to host the 2014 convention
was bestowed on Mr. Divine Klutsey, the President of
the Ewe Association of Colorado. Mr. Klutsey, who
also serves as the CEANA vice president, pledged to
work diligently with the President to achieve the
goals set for the 2014 convention which is scheduled
for Labor Day Weekend in Denver, Colorado. Sunday’s
activities unfolded with the annual CEANA convention
non-denominational church service officiated by Rev.
DzifanuAgbenya, Rev. Dr. Dorothy Akoto, and Rev.
Victoria EsinuVitashie. Shortly after the service
guests and convention organizers converged on Grant
Park for the much anticipated CEANA Picnic. Various
dishes from Ghana, Togo and Benin were served at the
park, in an atmosphere filled with merry making and
agbadza and borborbor tunes. Sunday’s activities
were capped with misegli loo, a rendition of an old
cultural pastime of evening story-telling.
On Monday, September 2, 2013, convention delegates
and guests returned to their various home
destinations across North America, Ghana, Togo,
Benin and Europe with a renewed sense of unity,
friendship and purpose, At the end of deliberations,
the CEANA Council of Representatives;
1. Resolved to complete the Tanyigbe School Project
2. Approved scholarship awards to deserving students
in Ghana, Togo and Benin.
3. Elected a new CEANA President to a term of 3
4. Approved Ewe Association of Colorado as the hosts
of the 21st Annual CEANA Convention in 2014.
The current President of CEANA, Dr. Abotchie,
members of the CEANA Council, and the Secretariat
are grateful to all delegates, convention attendees
and friends of CEANA for making the Chicago
Convention a success. Special appreciation goes to
the outgoing President of CEANA & President of the
Ewe Association of Chicago, Mr. MacGeoffrey Kutor,
and the membership of the Ewe Association of
Chicago, for organizing the 2013 CEANA Convention.
Photo coverage by Mr. CNN of 3G Media Inc. and
Selassie Hadzide for sankofaonline.com.