2015 CEANA Convention Communique

The Council of Ewe Associations of North America (CEANA) celebrated their 22nd annual convention on Labor Dar Weekend, September 4_7, 2015, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The theme, “Creating Investment Opportunities and Human Capital Development in Eweland”, was selected to address educational and healthcare challenges that currently face the people of Eweland. The convention focused on raising funds for the various projects and programs of CEANA, including scholarship awards to High School students in Ghana, Togo and Benin.

The CEANA delegates conference kicked off on Friday, September 4th, with representatives from 17 Member Associations from cities across the United States and Canada. Mr. Kobla Dorku, the Vice-President of CEANA, opened the conference with a welcome message to the delegates, while the CEANA President, Dr. Peter Nat Abotchie, handled the agenda for the morning which included a review of activities for the year, approval of project reports and budget. The evening was capped with a recounting of the history of Eweland, a cultural performance and fashion show by Novinyo Habobo of Delaware Valley.

The general conference on Saturday, September 5th, featured Mrs. Evelyn Dormekpor who shared research findings on gender disparities in poverty incidence and strategies to assist Ewe communities to adopt poverty reduction initiatives. Dr. William Adufutse shared a compelling strategy for encouraging leadership development with a view to nurturing the entrepreneurship required for Eweland’s development. Mrs. Sylvia Morrison, a queen mother and the director of a charitable organization (www.linksacrossborders.com) with active presence in Ghana, spoke passionately about the power of organized groups to initiate and achieve change and community development. She shared her experiences about the implementation of community projects in Ghana, and also made recommendations on how CEANA could make significant achievements through internally-generated resources.

Mr. Mawuli Agbenu, a former CEANA Executive, served as the MC for the Saturday evening banquet. The evening which proceeded with performances by Norvinyo Habobo Cultural Group under the guidance of Professor Samuel Nyamuame and Mrs. Belinda Klutsey, showcased the unique culture of Eweland. The procession of chiefs led by Novinyo Habobo Cultural Group included Togbe Osie Adzatekpor VI, Paramount Chief of Avatime Traditional area, Togbe Gazari V, Paramount Chief of Aveme Traditional Area, Togbe Tornu Yao V, Dufia of Aveme Dra, Mamadze Dunyo Queen Mother of Amanfrom (Aveme Traditional area), Togbe Agbo of Chicago, and Mama Mawutor Akabua, Togbe Wallace Setrana, Togbe Kwaku Yador and Togbe Napoleon Sefordzi, of New York

In his address for the evening, the President of CEANA, Dr. Peter Nat Abotchie, recalled the legislative and project accomplishments of CEANA in the past two years, and also called on all Ewes to regard the task of community development in Eweland as everyone’s collective responsibility. He referenced CEANA’s completed school projects in Tanyigbe and Sovie as well as the recently completed rehabilitation of a large clinic in Alokoegbe. He also reminded the gathering that the future of CEANA lay in striking partnerships and collaboration with other charitable organizations with a view toward making greater impact in our communities.

The highlight of the evening, the annual fundraiser and solicitation for membership of the CEANA Star Fund, led by Mr. William Kumah and Ms. Grace Adjovi, drew contributions and pledges from the 700 guests in attendance. The backdrop for the fundraiser was provided by video footage of the completed Clinic Rehabilitation in Alokoegbe. The evening was rounded off with the official transfer of the mandate to host the next CEANA Convention to Ewe Alliance of New Jersey, led by Mama Dze Dunenyo, who was sworn in as the next Vice President of CEANA.

A well-attended non-denominational church service was held the next morning, officiated by Rev. Kennedy Odzafi, Rev. Dr. Peter Agbeli, Rev. Dr. Komlan Ezunkpe, Rev. Dr. James Akrong, Rev. Dr. Dorothy Akoto, and Rev. Martin Osae. Thereafter, convention guests converged on Cherry Hill River Park for the annual CEANA Picnic which featured dishes from Eweland amid agbadza and borborbor tunes. Sunday evening was crowned with misegli loo, a rendition of a cultural pastime of evening story-telling. On Monday, September 7, 2014, convention delegates and guests departed to their various home destinations across North America, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Europe with a renewed sense of unity, friendship and purpose.

The following resolutions were adopted:

1. Approve 45 scholarship awards for qualified High School students upon receipt of vetted applications.

2. Review criteria and process for award of High School scholarships in the Volta Region.

3. Complete the remainder of the CEANA Project in Alokoegbe and Amouzoukope.
4. Approve the next CEANA Project in Keta District of Ghana, upon of review of the project proposal.
5. Approved Ewe Alliance of New Jersey as the host of the 2016 CEANA Convention.
On behalf of CEANA Secretariat and the CEANA Council, the President of CEANA, Dr. Peter Nat Abotchie, congratulates the delegates, guests, and Novinyo Habobo of Delaware Valley for making CEANA 2015 a success. Special appreciation goes to the outgoing Vice-President of CEANA Mr. Kobla Dorku, and Convention Planning Chairman Patrick Senyo Adzadu, for hosting the 2015 Convention.

Categories: Communique

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