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AGPI

AGPI- Mobilising and Inspiring for Advancement

Inauguration

of Association of Ghanaian Professionals in Ireland (AGPI) On 25th of October 2008 At Clarion Hotel, Liffey Valley, Dublin 22

Theme: The Role of Education and Entrepreneurship in Ghana's Quest to attain a Middle Income Status - Lessons from the Celtic Tiger era

AGPI

Welcome and Inaugural Address

Madam Chairperson, distinguished invited guests and my fellow Ghanaians, thank you all for honouring this inaugural invite. I am happy to welcome you all today to the inauguration of the Association of Ghanaian Professionals in Ireland (AGPI), an occasion which certainly marks the greatest demonstration of unity in the history of the Ghanaian community in Ireland. I would like to extend a special word of thanks to the leadership of the various Ghanaian associations and churches that are present here today and I humbly ask you all to join me to applaud them for their dedicated service to our people. I would also like to offer my sincere gratitude to our special guests who have travelled from afar including Ghana, the UK, to grace this occasion. We have been very fortunate that Ireland in which we live has given all of us an opportunity to live as we have, to work and study as we have, to serve as we have, and to see our people and our community in general so much better off. It is a great gift to us and we should be grateful today and happy and full of belief and hope for our people. Permit me to take you down a memory lane: Exactly one year ago, a few meters from this very premises, at the Fox Hunter Hotel in Lucan, we set forth on a journey to change the course and destiny of our people for the better, to keep the Irish dream alive for every Ghanaian willing to work for it, and to keep Ghanaians, the Black Stars, in Ireland together as one happy family. We set ourselves a task to mobilise and inspire all our people; with an inspiration to contribute to the advancement of both Ireland and Ghana. We refused to believe that there were insurmountable barriers to our people achieving their full potential and we equally refused to believe that there were insufficient resources in the great vaults of opportunity in the Island of Ireland. A lot has been achieved for our people and a lot more remains to be achieved. My fellow country men and women, in the process trying to achieve what remains to be achieved, we should not be guilty of wrongful deeds and we must not seek to satisfy our thirst for prosperity and advancement by engaging in fraudulent practices and greed. We must forever conduct our affairs above board with dignity, integrity and discipline. In AGPI, we believe that our common humanity and nationality are more important than any individual or even collective differences and if we could just live up to our human potential, the world and Ghana would be a better place. Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, let us resolve to run our communities as one family. Regardless where you come from in Ghana, the north, the south, the east, or the west of Ghana, whether you are Christians or Moslems, whether you support the NPP or the NDC or even the PNC or CPP, let us all remember that we all belong to Ghana, the greatest nation in Africa.

AGPI

It is commonplace that some of our people continue to encounter tremendous challenges in their quest to properly integrate into the Irish Society. Yet, we have many highly trained, well placed and motivated Ghanaian professionals in our midst who are capable and willing to offer a helping hand in this direction. Again, Madam Chairperson, distinguished invited guests, fellow country men and women, our country Ghana and Africa in general continues to yearn for its professionals abroad to unite and help it to achieve a sustainable socio-economic and political reality. Some people are of the opinion that the problems confronting Ghana and Africa are best left alone, but we in AGPI think differently. We believe that we have to start tackling the problems from somewhere. With your help and all hands on board, we can affect the lives of the present and future generations. We are aware it is not an easy endeavour, but we will do our part not because it is easy but because posterity demands that we take this course of action. For that is our unyielding faith - that in the face of immeasurable odds, people who love their country and continent work hard to change it. It can not be denied that our country has made great progress since its independence and in the last decade or so, a lot more has been achieved for our people. Some areas worthy of mentioning include the stabilisation of the economy with relatively low inflation and low interest rates, the introduction of the national health insurance scheme to replace the infamous cash and carry system, the introduction of the capitation grant and school feeding programmes, the national youth employment programme and the metro mass transport system to mention but a few. However, ladies and gentlemen, the crucial question is not what has been achieved but what could have been achieved if both the human and material resources in our nation were put to optimum use for the benefit of all our people. Our country continues to face major challenges, notably corruption, bureaucracy (red tapes) and poor work ethics that must be tackled head on. I would urge the present and future leadership of our country to set examples of modesty, incorruptibility and above all, lead clean moral and disciplined lives which would give real meaning to our country's motto of `Freedom and Justice'. I would also urge the leadership of our country to emulate the Irish example of investing more in education, health and enterprise development if Ghana would come anywhere close to becoming the African tiger. Tonight we celebrate the miracle of a united Ghanaian community in Ireland. Tomorrow we greet the dawn and begin our work anew. Let us be the generation that reshapes our community to maximize our human potential. Let us strive to live the world a better place than we found it. I am more grateful than I can say. You have given me an opportunity and a responsibility that comes only to a few people. Thank you and may God richly bless you. Dr Vincent Agyapong Chairperson of AGPI

AGPI

Programme Outline

5.30 5.45 7.00 7:05 7:20 7:30 7:35 7:55 8:20 8:45 9:00 9:15 9:45 Arrival of Guests Greetings from Ireland Opening Prayer Mrs. Belinda Agyapong Decon Kwame Takyi

Introduction of Dignitaries and Chairperson - Angela Nana-Kwarteng Cultural Display Chairperson's Response Welcome and Inaugural Address Launch of Inauguration Raffle Dinner and Cultural Display Keynote Address Address by Guest Speaker Solidarity Messages Inauguration and Induction of Officers - Mr. Kwasi Quartey Dr Wilberforce Owusu-Ansah & Mr. Mark Mantey Mr. Eben Anuwa-Amarh Ms. Lynda Twum-Ackah Mr. Torsby Attipoe Pastor Ricky Sarpong Mr. Kwasi Quartey Mrs. Betty Mould-Iddrisu Ms. Lynda Twum-Arckah Dr Vincent Agyapong Chairperson of AGPI Mrs. Harriet Owusu -Ansah

10:15 Awards 10:45 Raffle Results 11:00 Closing Remarks 11:05 Vote of Thanks 11:10 Closing Prayer

11:15 Photo Opportunity of Inaugurated Officers 11.30 Music and Dance

AGPI

Guests in Attendance:

1. Mr. Kwasi Quartey, Ghana's Deputy High Commissioner to UK and Ireland 2. Representatives from Ghana's Consulate in Dublin 3. Mrs Betty Mould-Idrissu, Director, Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Commonwealth Secretariat. 4. H.E. Dr (Mrs) Kemafo Nonyerem Chikwe, Nigerian Ambassador to Ireland 5 Mr. Joe Higgins, Leader, Socialist Party and Former TD, West Dublin 6. Mr. Akeem Shopeju, Tullow Oil Plc, Dublin 7. Mr. Brian Kiernan, President and CEO, Moydow Mines Int. Inc. 8. Mr. James Evans, Managing Partner, Murphy & Evans Solicitors, Dublin 15 9. Mr. Timothy Huizar, Political Officer, U.S. Embassy, Dublin

AGPI

Executive Officers of AGPI

Chairperson: Dr Vincent I.O Agyapong Vice Chairperson: Dr Wilberforce Owusu-Ansah Secretary: Mr. Kofi Owusu-Ansah Treasurer: Ms Lynda Twum-Ackah Financial Secretary: Ms Delvin Prempeh Public Relations Officer: Mr Julius Buameh

Regional Representatives of AGPI

North of Ireland: Ms Gifty Ohene-Asare South of Ireland: Mr Mark Mantey West of Ireland: Mr Torsby Attipoe

Other Officers of AGPI

Special Adviser to the Executive: Rev. Father Pius Biamse Chairperson of the Organising Committe: Mr Eben Anuwa-Amarh Secretary of the Organising Committee: Mr Abraham Tetteh Chairperson of the Education and Health Committee: Mrs Belinda Agyapong Secretary of the Education and Health Committe: Mr Philip Amponsah Chairperson of the Employment and Enterprise Committe: Mr Yaw Dankwah Secretary of the Employment and Enterprise Committe: Mr Percival Akpaloo Secretary of the Fundraising Committee: Mrs Mercy Buameh Secretary of the Publicity Committee: Mr Glory Attipoe Head of AGPI's Research Unit: Dr Yaw Bimpeh Chief Protocol Officer: Nana Adjei Assistant Chief Protocol Officer: Mrs. Christine Appiah

AGPI

2008 AGPI Awards The vision of AGPI is to mobilise and inspire Ghanaians resident in Ireland to realise their full potential. In other words, we are striving to ensure that every Ghanaian achieves the highest talent and thus capable and able to exert maximum influence towards the advancement of both Ghanaian and Irish societies. In translating our dreams into a reality AGPI has prioritised on programmes and activities that provide assistance, support and guidance to the Ghanaian community that would ensure they realise their full potentials in the areas enterprise development, accessing education including at the tertiary level, securing employment that commensurate their academic qualifications, skills, trade and experiences as well as enjoying a healthy living. AGPI Awards is thus born out of the need to inspire, recognise and honour individuals or groups who have made contributions toward the realisation of the noble goals of AGPI, for the individuals themselves, for the Ghanaian community and for Ireland as a whole. It is against this background that this initiative, AGPI Inaugural Awards, is taking place as part of our inauguration. The award marks the beginning of what promises to be a permanent annual event on the AGPI's calendar to be held annually on October Bank Holiday weekend. In keeping to the roadmap of AGPI, this maiden event has five categories, namely, Community award, Education award, Enterprise award, Youth achievement, and Special awards. Community award: recognises a Ghanaian or an individual of Ghanaian descent who has exhibited outstanding community service to the Ghanaian community. He must be passionate about what he/she does and believe and respect our community. The individual must be resident in the Island of Ireland. Education award: recognises and celebrates a Ghanaian or an individual of Ghanaian descent living in the Island of Ireland who is passionate about Irish higher education and has made or is making a huge effort towards an achievement of his/her potential through education and skills acquisition. Those eligible must have pursued or is pursuing a course of study at a tertiary level in Ireland including access / university foundation students, undergraduate and post-graduate students

AGPI

Enterprise Award: Entrepreneurs are source of jobs and wealth creation in every society. Business start-up is essential for generating economic prosperity. For an immigrant, it represents not only an easier way of breaking barriers and making a better life for oneself, but it also the royal road to a successful integration in Ireland. This Enterprise award therefore seeks to recognise a Ghanaian or an Irish-Ghanaian resident in Ireland, who is excelling in innovation and entrepreneurship in Ireland. One should have at least 25% equity in a business concern and involved in its set-up. Youth Achievement award: Youth represents the future of every nation. We are too aware of the immense pressures and barriers, perceived, imagined and real that immigrant youth face. We seek to encourage the Ghanaian youth to strive to overcome barriers and develop love and strong ties with Ghana and the Ghanaian community. The Youth Achievement award is to recognise a Ghanaian youth or a youth of Ghanaian descent living in Ireland, who has excelled in personal development and/or has made a significant contribution to Ghana's development (e.g. funding raising project.etc). S/he must be aged between 17 -25 years. Special Award: We believe in partnership and we are too conscious of the enormous support many Ghanaians the world over have received from our `Paddy' brothers and sisters. There are several unsung heroes out there. We believe there is a need to promote a positive appreciation of the contribution ordinary Irish are making for Ghanaian individuals, families, communities and Ghanaian society. TheAGPI Special award seeks to recognise an Irish individual (a native Irish) who has contributed to the economic development of Ghana and/or made a difference in the lives of Ghanaians living in Ireland.

AGPI

2008 AGPI Award Finalists

1. Community Award · Nana Adjei, President, Asante Union, Dublin · Pastor Isaac Abankwa, Overseer Church of Pentecost Ireland · Joseph Acquah, Ghana and Friends Association, Cork · Phyllis Doherty, Vice President, Ghana Union, Letterkenny 2. Education Award · Doreen Smith, Final year BSc (Pharmaceutical Technology) student · Gloria Anokye, recently completed a Bachelor of Social Studies Degree · Fredua Prempeh, mature student reading Bachelor of Business Studies 3. Youth Achievement Award · Ashley Peterson is pursuing a degree course in Nursing in UCD · Jessica Tetteh, 3rd year Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry student in UCC · Raymond Koomson, BSc student in Supply Chain Management and Logistics (DIT) 4. Enterprise Award · Nana Agyeman, Owner-Manager, Ahenfie Groceries, Letterkenny (Business model: African groceries, Money transfer etc.) · Saoirse Amartefio, EMOH, (www.emoh.ie) Cork & Limerick (Business model: IT and software developers) 5. Special Award · Fr Pat Seaver, (Limerick) · Mr. Noel Kiernan (Honorary Consul-General of the Republic of Ghana) · Julia O'Connor (Kenmare, Co Kerry)

Awards' Co-ordinator

Dr. Wilberforce Owusu-Ansah, Vice Chair, AGPI

Judging Panel

· · · · Rev. Father Pius Biamse - Chairperson Mrs Belinda Agyapong- Secretary Deacon Kwame Takyi Pastor Ricky Sarpong (General Overseer,New Life Ministries Inc.)

AGPI

AGPI in Pictures:

AGPI's Maiden Dinner for the Ghanaian Community

AGPI pays a Historic Visit to the Irish Parliament (the Leinster House)

AGPI hosts Ghanaian Parliamentary Delegation visiting Ireland

AGPI

Trade and Commerce Minister Meets AGPI

AGPI Marks Ghana's Independence with Dinner and Information Session

AGPI at 2008 International Hunger Conference

AGPI

Sponsors

Contact Details: Association of Ghanaian Professionals in Ireland 15 Manorfields Green Clonee Dublin 15 Ireland Tel: 00353 85 128 9175 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.agpireland.org

Master of Ceremonies:

Mr. Julius Buameh

Still Photographer: Mr. Martin Acheampong Video Cameraman: Mr. Peter Oghinan, Perod Show

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