The Seventh Annual convention of the Council of Brong Ahafo Association of North American, (COBAANA) ended in classicism at Southbridge Conference Center in Southbridge, Massachusetts on Sunday September 4th 2016.
The two day event included COBAANA general meeting, fund raising dinner dance, traditional festivities and picnic.
The celebration which brought together indigenes of the region in the United States of America, Canada and some traditional rulers from the region, helped pull resources together to support Brong-Ahafo region and also showcased the rich Ghanaian culture to the international community.
Objective for the convention was to raise funds for educational infrastructure projects for basic level schools in rural communities was on the theme “Changing Lives through Education”
Special Guest of Honor, first lady Mrs. Lordina Mahama, thanked the association for its generous contribution to the region over the years. She added that all Ghanaian children should have equal opportunity to education and for that matter their locality or the area in which they live should not deprive them to having access to quality education.
She reiterated the importance of early childhood education and said children have dreams to go to school and realize full potential. Giving a child an early quality education can help achieve those dreams and guarantee a better future. This can only be achieved when we provide the tools to education, hence the reason for our gathering to raise funds for a six-unit classroom block at Ayaakomase, near Nsoatre in the Brong-Ahafo Region to supplement the government’s efforts.
Keynote speaker Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Nana Agyemang Badu II, the Omanhene of Dormaa Traditional Area commended COBAANA for their unwavering support and contributions to promoting developments through education in the region. He advised the people to give praise where it was due and stop unnecessary criticism which does not help in the development of the country.
The Mayor of Worcester, Mr. Joseph Petty applauded COBAANA through a goodwill message for taking the initiative to provide opportunities for Brong –Ahafo children to have access to a quality education.
The Ghana Ambassador to the United States, Lt General Joseph Henry Smith (Rtd) said, the association has come this far because of the commitment, dedication and genuine interest of its members to make significant impact in the lives of the people and communities back home.
Other dignitaries who attended the convention were The Brong-Ahafo Reginal Minister, Mr. Eric Opoku, Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Agyare, Deputy Minister for Local Government Mr. Adjei Agyekum, Nana Yaw Pimapim Kagberese V, President of the Reginal House of Chiefs and the Paramount chief of Yeji Traditional Area, Nana Serwaa Nyarko II Omanhemaa of Duayaw-Nkwanta Traditional Area, Nana Ansah Adu-Baah, Omanhene of Yamfo Traditional Area, Odeneho Dr. Afram Brempong III Omanhene of Suma Traditional Area, Obrempong Ameyaw Amponsem II, the chief of Anyima, Nana Yaw Adu-Gyamfi and Ohemaa Abena Pokuaa (Chief and Queen mother of Brong-Ahafo Association of Chicago), Nana Kwabena Tetteh II, Nifahene of Nkoranza Traditional Area and number of queen mothers.
Reginal Minister Eric Opoku answered some questions regarding DKM during the Q&A section at the picnic grounds on Sunday. He said the government is working with all stakeholders to make sure all those who invested in DKM Ponzi Scheme will get their money back.
COBAANA members complained that their relatives and friends are stressing under the DKM saga. They stressed that the same promise was made last year at the 2015 COBAANA Convention in Canada but nothing has been done up to date and hoped that the government would follow through before the election.
Osagyefo Oseadeeyo Nana Agyemang Badu II also addressed the concerns of the people in diaspora land acquisitions, confiscation and moratoriums issues in Abesim and Sunyani land under Dormaa Traditional authority. He explained the reasons for the Abesim moratorium, and promised to resolve the land dispute issues that come before him in a fair and peaceful manner.
By Bentil K. Boakye Boateng, PRO