Author: Yaw Mankatah Asare

Director of Diaspora Affairs Welcomes Director of Graduate Studies, African Studies, Howard University

On the 28th of July 2022, Director of Diaspora Affairs Mr. Akwasi Awua-Ababio welcomed Professor Msia Clark, Director of Graduate Studies of the African Studies program at Howard University, Washington DC to his office at the presidency.

Prof. Clark introduced herself and explained the purpose of her visit as one of facilitating connections between the African Studies department at Howard University and several institutions across the African continent. Through these connections, she is of the expectation that support systems can be developed where students from the country could be aided by means of funding to pursue their studies at Howard. Moreover, the support systems would also include Howard students who intend to pursue research studies in Ghana.

Responding to her proposals, Mr. Ababio welcomed the potential partnership as one which fits the office of Diaspora Affairs’ mandate of reaching out and supporting the African diaspora. He emphasised the office’s support of a potential collaboration. Mr. Ababio shared with Prof. Clark that the major challenge of Ghanaian students admitted to schools in the USA was overcoming the initial hurdles to actually get there. However once in their respective schools, Ghanaian students were innovative to maintain themselves in their schools. As a means of lessening some of these challenges, Mr. Ababio suggested the University could talk to potential organisations and work places which would employ such students in fields connected to their studies thereby allowing them to make some money to take care of some expenses.

Prof. Clark welcomed the suggestion as one she would put before the Chairperson of African Studies. She also mentioned the impact of the Year of Return as one which has got Black circles in the diaspora talking and engaging with Ghana. She further extended the courtesy to have Mr. Ababio as a guest of the department of African Studies whenever he is to find himself in Washington DC.

In their company were two incoming Howard PhD students from Ghana -Amartey Rashid Laryea and Yaw Mankatah Asare.

Madam Rebecca L. Price’s visit to the Diaspora Affairs Office, Office of the President (DAOOP)

On Thursday 18th March 2022, the Diaspora Affairs Office, Office of the President hosted Madam Rebecca L. Price, at the seat of the Presidency, Jubilee House. She had a dialogue with Deputy Director Dr. Nadia Musah regarding ways to support African Americans in their transition to Ghana, especially the elderly who champion Ghana as a place to make home pre and post retirement. With a red and black high heels, royal green embroidered dress, with a golden yellow hat and jewelry, the fashion icon showed her love for the nation of Ghana in portraying its flag colours across her entire attire. Even her nose mask matched the colour scheme of our nation’s flag. Expressing her love for Ghana her adopted homeland Madam Rebecca highlighted her moving from the USA to Ghana (The Motherland) during Spring 2021 after having an incredible set of experiences here and being impressed with the love and welcome of the Ghanaian people. She came with her daughter Afia and Ambassador Millie Lorene Tucker of the State of the African Diaspora. 

Born in December 1936, Madam Rebecca was raised and educated in Los Angeles, California, USA. She completed her formal education in 1954, married her high school sweetheart in 1958 and in 1959 she began raising her family of four children. Her husband was an Aerospace Engineer during his lifetime but he passed away in 2012. She has spent her entire life serving The Lord, raising her family and constantly helping others to grow closer to God. 

She was given a Diaspora Affairs Office pin by the Deputy Director to welcome her to the office. 

Madam Rebecca, having been raised by Godly parents, became acquainted with Jesus at the tender age of nine years old. As she grew up, inspired by her maternal grandmother she developed a passion for both ‘Flowers and Fashion’. She became a business owner and entrepreneur in the mid 1960s. By the late 1970s Madam Rebecca was a top fashion sales woman and became well known and respected in the wholesale fashion industry and throughout the Los Angeles, California area. 

Madam Rebecca became the founder and director of a major fashion show production company known as Runway Productions, as well as one of the few African American women to pioneer a path amongst some of the country’s top clothing designers. Her name and unique professional style were personally known by designers such as David Hayes, Marie Gray of St. John Knits, and Diane Freis to name a few. During her career her fashion skills became so widely known that she was requested to personally assist the Hollywood Entertainment Industry.

During the early 1990s Madam Rebecca was again called upon as a personal shopper to assist Madam Winnie Madikizel-Mandela during her visit to Los Angeles, California, USA. 

As the Founder and director of Runway Productions Madam Rebecca has designed and produced hundreds of runway fashion shows. Aslo, as a Floral Designer she has coordinated and designed the most magnificent floral arrangements for enumerable weddings, special events, dining occasions, homes, mansions and countless projects for individuals, churches, businesses and television. She has over 50 years experience in both Fashion Design and Floral Industries. 

Surprisingly inspired by her oldest son Madam Rebecca made a life changing decision in April 2021 to continue her life of retirement and return home to THE MOTHERLAND. Her journey has not been without challenge but the success of her permanent transition to Ghana has been a journey of a lifetime. She is here to stay… as a mother, grandmother, friend and neighbour. As an African of the Diaspora repatriating home to The Motherland at age 85years old and better known now as “GRANDMA”. 

Kweku Andoh Sustainability Institute Opens in Liate Wote

On the 16th of October, 2021, the Kweku Andoh Sustainability Institute (KASI) was opened to an audience from the country and the diaspora. Situated in Liate Wote in the Volta Region which is also home to Ghana’s tallest mountain Afadjato, the sustainability institute was built by the HABESHA (Helping Afrika By Establishing Schools Home and Abroad) organisation which is made up of a number of Afrikans from the diaspora currently living in Ghana. The opening of the Institute was graced by the chief, elders and community people from Liate Wote who treated the invited guests to some cultural performances.

Some cultural performance by the community

Speaking to the gathered audience, the Executive Director of HABESHA, Cashawn Myers, informed the audience of the journey to bring the dream into reality. The project, he shared has taken five years and brought together a wide range of locals with expertise in various skills to complete. KASI, he further added, is designed to be a research institute where Afrikans globally can come and learn indigenous knowledge. He went on to give invited guests a tour of the Institute.

Executive Director, Cashawn Myers, Honours Some Workers Who Helped Bring the Project into Completion

The Institute which sits on about six acres of land, has facilities which include a bamboo pavilion for workshops, five earth domes built of laterite using a patented machine from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). These are living spaces. Four additional storey buildings are featured for accomodation, kitchen, and classrooms. The Institute also houses a farm, a solar park, which powers the entire facility, a bamboo tree house and groove which allows for tenting and camping.

Invited Guests Are Treated to a Tour of the Insititute

KASI is named in honor of world-renowned Ghanaian ethno-botanist Dr. A. Kweku Andoh. Dr. Andoh was dedicated to research in ethno-botany and traditional medicine and he was dedicated to Ghana. KASI aims to shape the future of Afrikans through learning and sharing of indigenous knowledge and information systems of housing development, renewal energy, water conservation, and traditional medicine/healing, and the arts. For US by US.

Some Guests Before the Domes on the Facility
Executive Director, Cashawn Myers had earlier met with Director, Akwasi Awua Ababio to share the project with

H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Welcomes The Current Remaining Survivors of 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre to the Presidency

On 19th August 2021, H.E. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo welcomed Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis and an accompanying delegation to the seat of Ghana’s Presidency Jubilee House. 

H.E. The President welcomes the delegation to the Presidency

On May 31st through to June 1st, 1921, homes and businesses in Greenwood District, Tulsa, Oklahoma were attacked and destroyed by mobs of white people leaving many of the Black people who had built for themselves a viable community and businesses dead and hospitalized. 

Mother Fletcher addresses the President

This year, 2021 marks the centenary of this unfortunate event. Coincidentally, this centenary feeds into Ghana’s Beyond the Return initiative, an offshoot of the Year of Return 2019 and Ghana has been blessed to have as a part of the memorial of the former and celebration of the latter, the presence of the last two remaining survivors of the Tulsa Race massacre: Viola Fletcher known as ‘Mother Fletcher’ (107 years old) and her younger brother Hughes Van Ellis known as ‘Uncle Redd’ (100 years old). It had been the wish of the duo to visit Africa before they passed and Ghana was their choice for this wish.

“We are One” – Uncle Redd in his address

Mother Fletcher addressing H.E. the President of Ghana expressed her deep appreciation towards the reception she has received in Ghana. She mentioned it had always been her dream to visit Ghana and said she hopes to make another visit. Her brother, Uncle Redd taking the mic addressed the shared unity of the African continent and the diaspora. Remarking to an applause, he stated “We are one”.

The President welcoming the guests mentioned that Ghana was in the process of drafting a Homeland Return Act which would guide the acquistion of Ghanaian nationality. Referencing the degradation of Black lives in the United States of America the President toasted the resilience of the African peoples which for him has been demonstrated by the prescence of the distinguished on Ghanaian soil.

The President went on to offer to Mother Fletcher and Uncle Redd Ghanaian citizenship and presented with them some Kente fabrics as well as a stool.

The President gifts to the guests a stool and some Kente fabrics

The visit of Mother Fletcher and Uncle Redd has been generously supported by the Diaspora Affairs Office and were ushered and received into the Presidency by Director, Akwasi Awua Ababio and his Deputy Nadia Adongo Musah.

 

Bringing Awareness to Men’s Health: American Rejuvenation Clinic

When it comes to health, men are known not to give it much consideration till they are really sick. Frequent check ups, preventive in nature, go a long way to prevent serious complications in one’s life. And this is the striving of American Rejuvenation Clinic, to bring men closer and to invest in their health.

The campaign to bring an awareness to men’s health is not the only interesting thing about this clinic. The clinic and it story registers as one of the many lesser known success stories of the Year of Return 2019 with the transfer of knowledge, skills and resources by Africans in the Diaspora to Ghana.

American Rejuvenation Clinic, situated in East Legon is founded by Tyrone Jamar. Tyrone, a Hormonal Replacement Therapist originates from Ohio, USA. Tyrone together with his brother now of blessed memory visited Ghana for an extended period during the Year of Return, 2019. Here, he travelled the length and breadth of the country having a much deeper feel of the of the country’s terrains and warmth. Tyrone mentions that during this time, Ghana felt familiar. For him, he felt a sense of belonging. He had discussions with his brother and they decided to set up something in Ghana which later turned out to be the clinic.

American Rejuvenation Clinic offers Preventive Medicine, anti-aging hormonal replacement therapy and testestorone diagnosis for men. The clinic has 26 staff members with facilities which includes a laboratory, two consultation rooms, pharmacy, physiotherapy, stabilization and an emergency centre. In this clinic, men are assured of complete privacy and confidentiality.

The clinic has also embarked on men’s health campaigns outside of its facility having conducted screenings for men in churches, organizations, keep fit clubs and various outlets. It is out of the need to raise awareness about men;s health that American Rejuvenation Clinic has declared the period between June 2021 and June 2022 as a 12 month men’s health awareness campaign. During this period, the clinic intends to partner with various organizations, schools, workspaces, keep fit clubs through screenings to get men to be more concerned about their health.

One can follow this campaign across their media platforms @american_rejuvenation_clinic or contact the clinic via email americanrejuv45@gmail.com. They can also be reached via phone (+233) 0 302 955 966 or via whatsapp (+233) 0 548 136 208.

Mr. Akwasi Awua Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs Meets with Africa’s Most Influential Youtuber, Wode Maya

Africa’s Popular Youtuber, Wode Maya honoured an invitation by Director, Diaspora Affairs to the visit the office at Jubilee House. In the meeting, Wode Maya shared his experiences as a Diasporan in China which led him to move back to Ghana and begin to show a different narrative of Africa. For Wode Maya, which means “My Mother” in Mandarin, and also his youtube channel name, sharing these narratives has always been a passion.

This passion Wode Maya explained has inspiration stemming from wanting to see a better and a positive narrative of Africa. Wode Maya, further expressed that he is always humbled by the reception he gets especially by many Africans in the Diaspora, some of whom have made the journey to Africa by watching and engaging with his videos.

Mr. Akwasi Awua Ababio responded by congratulating Wode Maya for his good works promoting Ghana and Africa to the world and also by being a conduit through whom many get to experience and engage Ghana and the African continent. He further went to assure Wode Maya of the office’s support toward’s his efforts in engaging the Diaspora.

Akwasi Awua-Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs Gives Keynote Address as the Grand Opening of the African Diaspora Business and Cultural Centre in Accra

Mr. Akwasi Awua-Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President gave the keynote address at the grand opening of the African Diaspora Business and Cultural Center in Accra Ghana on Spintex Road as part of activties on Juneteenth Emancipation Day, 2021. The event was hosted by Ministry of the Future and Drodai Company Limited.

In his address, Mr. Ababio made note that the Year of Return was based of the Right of Africans in the DIaspora have to return. The Year of Return, he continued gave birth to Beyond the Return which is an initiative to push the successes of the Year of Return in a more meaningful manner. However, the covid pandemic had been a setback for planned activities.

Mr. Ababio also made the connection between the Return of people in the Diaspora and Ghana’s economic emancipation capsuled in Ghana Beyond Aid agenda. According to Mr. Ababio in his address, The Return of the Diaspora is however not only for Ghana to rely on its Brothers and Sisters for their skills and resources but also to ensure the DIaspora is brought home and re-integrated.

Mr. Ababio further expressed his gratitude for the opening of the African Diaspora Business and Cultural Centre which will help shine light on how Ghana can move forward with the Diaspora.

Watch the full address below:

Deputy Director, Diaspora Affairs Joins President of Ghana on Upper East Regional Tour

The Deputy Director of DIaspora Affairs, Nadia Adongo Musah on joined the President of the Republic of Ghana and a few High Profile Dignitaries from the Government on a regional tour of the Upper East which covered the areas of Bolgatanga, Bawku, Nalerigu, Walewale and Yagaba.

Naaba Asigri Abugrago Azoka II of Bawku centered
H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo addresses Bawku Naaba

The regional tour was a set up for the President to say Thank You to people in the Upper East for endorsing his second term in office as well as to familiarise himself with ongoing projects in the area. As a part of the tour, the President commissioned a District Assembly at for Bolga East Distrinct at Zuarungu, visited Champion Foods and Beverages Limited, a wholly owned Ghanaian beverage manufacturing, distribution and marketing company as well as Tamanaa Company Ltd., a rice farming and processing company located in Nasia near Walewale, which is also operating under Government’s 1-District-1-Factory initiative.

Deputy Director, Nadia Adongo pictured here with Father an ex-Regional Minister

The President also made it a point to pay a courtesy call on various Naaba’s and Nayiri’s (Traditional Overlords) with his entourage at the places he visited receiving accolades for seeing to the construction and completion of several projects which had been on the wish list of the chiefs and people of Bawku and Mamprugu for many years. The Nayiri of Mamprugu expressed gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for the Pwalugu Multi-Purpose Dam and Irrigation Project, which he described as the “Super Game Changer Project in the North”, which will result in the provision of electricity, and 25,000 hectares of irrigation facilities.

Overlord of Mamprugu, Nayiri Bohogu Mahami Abdulai Sheriga pictured here in centre surrounded by Elders and Traditional Warriors
Traditional Warrior of Mamprugu