By: Dr. Kofi A. Boateng
The heavy downpour and cold winds could not stop the 50 individuals who gathered at the Ghana Consulate in New York City on Saturday May 13, 2017 to miss the inaugural meeting of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce, USA, Inc. (GCC-USA) This was a follow-up to the March 18, 2017 meeting of 15 budding Ghanaian entrepreneurs who defied the snow to do something different from the usual Ghana independence celebration of dance, dinner, and dissections of what ails Ghana. These business and social entrepreneurs aim to discover and support each other; and organize themselves to be serious stakeholders in Ghana’s socio economic development.
Accordingly the stated purposes of GCC-USA are: (1) To advance business and social entrepreneurship among Ghanaians Living Abroad (GLAs) through support and facilitation; (2) to marshal resources to contribute to the socio-economic development of Ghana through multilevel engagement with government, private, and civic structures to benefit all the people of Ghana; and (3) to promote increased quality of life of Ghanaians Living Abroad through charitable activities.
Hon. Bernard Quantson, the Ghana Consul General opened the meeting by remarking that GLAs have built individual excellence in many fields. What has been missing is group excellence. Thus he commended the group for being persistent and determined to formalize themselves into the much- needed Chamber of Commerce driven by Ghanaians. He introduced the honorary consul for Arkansas and the Delta Region of the USA, Mr. Sherman Banks, who congratulated the group and shared that we have been late while others have been getting bigger slices of the pie. With strength in numbers, he encouraged GCC-USA to be focused, aim high, sell Ghana, and bring it glory. He urged that African-Americans should be embraced into the group.
The author, who chaired the meeting, emphasized that the emphasis is on Ghana, the country, therefore all enterprise-purposed people, regardless of race and nationality are welcome to participate and be members of GCC-USA. This was welcome news, especially to Mr. Charles Nimmo Ntiamoah-Mensah (aka Mr. CNN) who has been recovering from personal health challenges while managing the esprit de corps of the new organization with the dream that it will indeed be the point organization for marshalling resources to build up individual members, our dear Ghana, and its people, from the least to the greatest.
Mr. Bola Ray, Ghana’s media impresario made his appearance and was able to interview a few members including Mr. Kwasi Twum Ampofo of KTA mobile phone fame (the inventor and CEO –firstname.lastname@example.org). Ms. Dzifa Adjorlolo (email@example.com) represented Royal Olives Estates that specializes in building custom houses in Ghana. A new GLA inventor is Mr. Godfred Biney who has created a solar-powered generator and whole house off grid solutions (firstname.lastname@example.org). The lawyers (Eric Okyere Darko –email@example.com), and certified public accountants were present (Benjamin Manuh –firstname.lastname@example.org, Moses Mensah –email@example.com). Helping Hand Foundation was introduced as working to restore the WEB DuBois Center in Accra- one of its major projects (Mr. Japhet Aryiku –firstname.lastname@example.org). But for space, we would list the amazing activities of each of the 50 attendees that as the Consul General said mark individual GLAs’ excellence. Having enjoyed the sumptuous lunch catered by GG’s Kitchen (914-471-7656) complete with fresh snail khebab, the challenge is to meld the high achieving individuals into a collective powerhouse to create wealth and propel a nation northward. Great ideas and hands are very welcome.
Ghana Chamber of Commerce, USA, Inc. has been incorporated as a non-charitable nonprofit entity in New York State. An interim executive committee was formed to devise the by-laws , dues structure, meeting schedules, set up a web site, a list serve, and complete the organizational set up. In the meantime the attendees paid $100 each to provide funds for the organizational costs, thereby becoming founding members of GCC-USA. This unique opportunity is available until June 13, 2017 for others to be on record. The executive committee comprises: Dr. Kofi A. Boateng (Chair), Mr. Charles Nimmo Ntiamoah-Mensah (COO), Ms. Rose Ivy Quarshie (Treasurer), Lucy Asare (Secretary), and the following as members: Ms. Dzifa Adjorlolo, Mr. Hashim Haruna, Dr. Owusu Kizito, Ms. Mary Edusei, Mr. Jerry Adinkra, Mr. Japhet Arjiku, and Terry Oppong.
The vision is that Ghana Chamber of Commerce, USA, Inc. will develop a successful prototype, build chapters across the USA, and collaborate with GLAs in other countries to model the organization. For further information send e-mails to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.