to Ghana by Angelique Watkins
I shared this in 2002 or 2003.
We made our journey to Ghana
and the world will never be the same. The trip was indeed historical but
to say it was a total success would be a great understatement. We returned
home. Only Ghana can make that claim. Slavery to the Western Hemisphere
started in Ghana 521 years ago. Of the 46 slave castles that were used
22 were in Ghana. Every nation in the slave business (England, Spain, Portugal,
France, Amsterdam and Arab tribes) utilized Ghana. Thus, after 521 years
of slave descendents intermarrying, it is indeed safe to say that every
one of us whose ancestors were victimized by slavery has some amount of
Ghanaian blood running in our veins. Ghana is home to all of us!
|Our reception was truly
overwhelming. We met with President J. A. Kufuor where he talked with each
of us one on one. The event was covered on national television and was
in every newspaper. Ambassador Alan Kyerematen was our personal host and
escort throughout the week. We had personal presentations with 10 cabinet
ministers. The King of Kyebi gave us a very grand reception at his palace.
We were also given 4 evening receptions by US Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates
and three Ghanaian dignitaries.
We will begin establishing
light manufacturing within the Free Trade Zones in Ghana. The first will
be a computer assembly plant by Shikaneh Koncepts from Prince Georges County,
MD. A textile manufacturing assembly plant will come soon also. Working
in the Free Trade Zones is quite attractive. It is tax and duty free.
One must be cognizant that
Ghana's minimum wage is $1 per day. An American sock manufacturer has moved
to Ghana to produce the socks and ship back to the US and is saving $12
million per year just in the cost of doing business.
We will be establishing a
Technical Assistance Program and a Capacity Building Program for the construction
industry of Ghana. Our member architects, general contractors and construction
managers will be continuously engaged in this huge project.
Our IT companies will be
working together with the Ghana IT Association in the deployment of Broadband
and wireless communications throughout the nation.
|Ghana will be building 140,000
affordable homes each year for the next six years. Our modular housing
initiative has reached an agreement with the Minister of Housing and will
be participating along with many other housing developers and builders
from within our membership.
Agri-Business presents many
opportunities and we will be aggressive in this area. Fish farms and poultry
raising are just two areas that will command immediate attention.
We are setting up a mutual
fund for the Ghana Stock Market (60% growth in last two years) and will
also be promoting "Dual Citizenship" between Ghana and the US. Tourism
will also be a big growth industry that we will soon oversee.
Going home is so productive,
enjoyable and healthy!
Mr. H. C. Alford, NBCC President/CEO
Mr. F. Jordan, NBCC Chairman
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