Vancouver: Ghanaian Vice President Bawumia receives rousing welcome

It was homecoming of sorts for Ghana’s Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawimia as he arrived at the Bear Creek Park in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver for this year’s GhanaFest July 20.

A graduate of Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, Dr. Bawumia was met by an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 2,000, among them many old friends.

In a speech, Dr. Bawumia stressed the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo placed a high premium on the contribution of the Ghanaian Diaspora to the development of Ghana. In this regard, a Secretariat of Diaspora Affairs is housed at the Jubilee House, the seat of government.

The vice president outlined a number of achievements chalked by the government, prominent among which are the introduction of a free Senior High School (SHS) education programme, the bringing down inflation to single digit, digitization several sectors of the economy, and the introduction of medical drones . Dr. Bawumia touted the medical drone technology as a significant achievement, making Ghana the leader in the world.

After initial skepticism, medical drone technology has gained widespread admiration, as people” saw drones delivering medical supplies,” including blood to remote rural communities. “We are saving lives with drone technology, he stressed. Dr. Bawumia also announced that the government would soon take delivery of 275 ambulances to the various districts in the country.

For his part, Ghanaian High Commissioner to Canada, Mr. Ayikoi Otoo, praised Ghanaians in British Columbia for being law-abiding citizens. He thanked Ghanaian community for the warm welcome accorded the vice president, him, and their entourage.

Daughters of Zion

Dr. Charles Quist-Adade, president of the Ghanaian-Canadian Association of British Columbia, thanked the vice president, the high commissioner and their entourage for honouring GhanaFest 2019 with their prominent presence.
Prior to the vice president’s arrival at the festival grounds, a team of enthusiastic members of Ghanaian community had organized a coulourful traditional welcome for him at the Vancouver International Airport.

Abusua-kese-Imitation of the Ashanti King of Ghana and his entourage

GhanaFest 2019 Most Colourful, Most Memorable
GhanaFest is an annual event organized by the Ghanaian-Canadian Association of British Columbia (GCABC). The goals of GhanaFest include:
• Celebrating and sharing various facets of Ghanaian and African cultures to the people in the Lower Mainland. 
• Educating young Ghanaian-Canadians and other youths of African Descent about the rich cultural heritage of Ghana in particular and Africa in general. 
• Promoting inter-cultural understanding, friendships and solidarity between Ghanaian-Canadians and fellow Canadians.
• Fostering respect and pride in Ghanaian and African cultures by young Ghanaian-Canadians and African-Canadians.
• Cultivating intercultural ties between Ghanaian-Canadians and other cultural communities that will participate in the Festival.

“Yes, it was one of our best, if not the best,” remarked Mr. Godfried Lovelace-Dodoo, who was the Master of Ceremonies of the fest and doubles as a board member of the GCABC.

The two-day festival kicked off with cultural performances by Auntie Vicky’s Golden Girls, Abusua Kese, and Zion Children of God Cultural Association of BC and ended with a soccer tournament.

Aunty Vicky’s Golden Girls

The festival showcased a rich tapestry of Ghanaian and African cultural artifacts, music, dance, and foods, youth and adult games. The second day saw a spirited ampe, a female game and Ananse storytelling led by Dr. Quist-Adade. The theme of GhanaFest 2019 was “Ananse Storytelling as a Medium of Moral Education.” Dr. Quist-Adade explained that Ananse (Trickster) stories are not only a storehouse of folk wisdom and cultural norms, but they are also used for the moral upbringing and education of children.

“Ananse storytelling is a time-tested vehicle for moral education, especially for young ones and a powerful tool for´ social cohesion, Dr. Quist-Adade, said in the introduction to his narration of two ananse stories. Both stories were designed to impart lessons of humility, honesty, generosity, reciprocity, and care to young ones. The stories also warn children to eschew such vices as greed, selfishness, and arrogance.

GhanaFest2019 was sponsored by the City of Surrey, the Provincial Government, and Platinum Auto of Surrey.

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