Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers once said, “African growth depends on: peace, education, fair use of natural resources, good governance, and technology.” To complement Dr. Summers, I would add that organization is the key to development and nation building in this modern era. A nation that shows the distinctive quality of pulling its resources together for good causes creates opportunities and the impetus for development. It is in this spirit that the old students of Opoku Ware (Akatakyie) are converging on the corridors of Washington, DC on Saturday August 31, 2013 to promote education, technology and development in Ghana via improving conditions at Opoku Ware School. As much as the association is seizing this moment to fraternize and socialize, they are also determined to use the occasion to push the broader agenda of self-improvement (with respect to careers, health and networking), and above all raising money to pursue development projects.
It is in the light of this broad agenda that the association has drawn up a varied and comprehensive agenda for this year’s annual reunion meeting. Spearheading the morning event (9 am to 2 pm) is a US State Departmental official Mr. Jim Wilson who works at the Bureau of African Affairs as a Senior Coordinator for Trade Promotion. Mr. Wilson’s talk will focus on opportunities for U.S. partnerships with investors in the energy and agribusiness sectors. He would particularly shed light on President Obama’s new Power Africa Initiative, in which Ghana is one of six selected beneficiary countries.
Another key aspect of the morning program will focus on personal health issues of Ghanaians. It has become abundantly clear that Ghanaians (both in Ghana and in the diaspora) lag behind their Western counterparts when it comes to health awareness. Not surprisingly, the mortality rate among Ghanaians is high and dangerous but preventable diseases, such as heart attacks and diabetes are on the rise. Thus, the event will feature a panel of doctors, who will lead discussions on health awareness and how Ghanaians can better take care of themselves to ward off preventable diseases. The doctors will also offer counseling and health screening, including offering a free service of blood sugar level and blood pressure checks.
Above all the program will feature an evening dinner-dance event (8pm to 2am) with a keynote presentation on strategic investments in Ghana’s economy by His Excellency Daniel Ohene Agyekum, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America. The event will also include a fundraising drive to help complete development projects at the school, including the ICT project, wireless internet access and a scholarship fund. The ICT project, which was began by Akatakyie USA more than a decade ago, has stalled for years. Consequently, the association will seize on this occasion to raise money, to complete the ICT building and other ongoing projects at the school.
Overall, the uniqueness of this year’s Akatakyie conference is the eclectic nature of the schedule, which has been designed to be practical, productive, self-enriching and to have a broad appeal to Opoku Ware Old Students and the Ghanaian fraternity and sorority at large. Special invitations have been extended to our sister schools including Saint Louis, Prempeh College, St Monica’s, Amass, Okess, Yaa Asantewaa, Wesley Girls, Adisadel, Mfantsipim and the Ghanaian community in Washington DC Metropolitan area. We encourage maximum patronage for all to experience a rare and unique Ghanaian event at the Courtyard by Marriott Alexandria Pentagon South Hotel at 4641 Kenmore Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304 come Saturday August 31.
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