Ghanaian Entrepreneurs Hold Discussions with Ambassador and Staff

A Ghanaian Entrepreneur Presents the Ambassador with a

Gift Sample of Products

(From Left) Nana Frimpongmaa Williams, Sector Advisor (DFID), Ambassador, Dr. Adjei-Barwuah & Mrs. Stella Addo, Head of Trade & Investment Dept. 

A Ghanaian Entrepreneur Presents the Ambassador with a

Gift Sample of Products

Washington DC

January 19, 2019

 

For a Ghanaian entrepreneur to maintain a strong market presence in the United States, he or she requires a clear understanding of U.S. trade standards, excellent product branding, effective networking and tenacity to break through in a competitive market according to Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States.

H.E. Dr. Barfuor Adjei-Barwuah made these remarks during a meeting with a group of entrepreneurs from Ghana who visited the Ambassador and staff on January 18, 2019, at the chancery.  The group accompanied by Executives from TechnoServe, was in Washington DC to attend a multiyear project themed Enhancing Growth in New Enterprises (ENGINE), organized by the company and financed by the U.K. government through the Department for International Development (DFID).   DFID seeks to provide Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) with the relevant skills and resources to improve their business plans and internal operations and create a thriving community of entrepreneurs by increasing access to business development services and financing.

The entrepreneurs from Ghana included small business owners dealing in various products and services including shea butter, chocolate, black soap, bamboo products, and tourism.   Mrs. Stella Ansah, the head of the Trade and Investment Department and chairperson of the event noted that there are several challenges Ghanaian entrepreneurs face when trying to penetrate the American market. She encouraged the entrepreneurs to share some to f these challenges noting that such information would help the trade department to develop an effective system to help guide potential entrepreneurs interested in the U.S. market.

On their part, the group said that understanding America’s product standards is a prevailing challenge that they face when trying to bring their goods to the U.S.    Other challenges included taxes and business registrations in Ghana among others.  The Ambassador addressed the tax issues the group raised and provided pertinent guidelines and suggestions to help alleviate their concerns.  Additionally, he commended the team for their achievements and ability to group together.  He said forming strong networks is essential for growth and success of private enterprises, as well as small businesses. He was happy to note that the group had congregated and formed a strong network and thought that it reflected hope for other small businesses in Ghana.

 

H.E. Dr. Adjei-Barwuah pledged the Embassy’s support in assisting the efforts of the group and said he would reach out to government agencies in Ghana and request for assistance for entrepreneurs interested in doing business in the United States Network.

Nana Frimpomaa Williams, Private Sector Advisor (DFID, UK) and leader of the visiting team, thanked the Ambassador and staff for engaging the group in fruitful discussions.  She hoped for a continued relationship between the group and the Embassy and said they would depend on the Embassy to help the entrepreneurs navigate the competitive U.S. market.

by Angeline Addy

Information & Public Affairs Dept.

Emmanuel Mensah, Ghanaian American Posthumously Named a 'Local Hero' by NYC Red Cross

 

 

 

On Monday, November 11, 2018, Ghana's Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Dr. Barfour Adjei-Barwuah, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Andrews University to grant partial scholarship to Ghanaian students and professionals, both home and abroad.

In his address to the executive leadership of the university, H.E. Dr. Adjei-Barwauh, reiterated the importance of the agreement; "this is a five-year program so it is something that is going to benefit our people for a while. At a time where the world is moving fast, this kind of relationship is important for our development."

 

Touching on the details of the partnership, he intimated, "we have secured 250 seats per year for Ghanaian students and professionals-200 seats for undergraduate students and 50 seats for graduate students. This means that we can enroll up to 1250 students during the lifetime of the agreement. The program gives students and professionals who will be pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees, 50% off their tuition cost. The partnership also extends to students and professionals who prefer to stay home and pursue their degree programs online."

Ghana's Ambassador to the US Secures Over $60m of Scholarship for Ghanaian Students.

November 11, 2018

According to information from the university, most undergraduate students enrolled pay about $28,272 per year. At 50%, each student will get $14,136 off per year totaling $56,544 of savings for 4 years. A discount of $56,544 for 200 students per year for five years comes to $56.5 million of scholarship accessible to Ghanaian first degree students. The discount total, accessible to graduate students is about $5.5 million at 50 students for five years. Essentially, this agreement means that Ghanaians have close to $62 million worth of scholarship they can access under this program.

 

President of Andrews University, Dr. Andrea Luxton, stressed on the school's commitment to education and the motive for investing in Ghanaians. "As an Adventist institution, we believe in giving back by way of empowerment, through education. Our relationship with Ghana goes back many years. This partnership solidifies that relationship even more", she revealed.

 

Speaking at the signing-in event, Mr. Kwame Antwi-Frempong, the intermediary and CEO of Aspire Business Network, assured the university of his commitment to safeguard the program and to ensure that all applicants are properly pre-screened. This will ensure that students who go through the program are legitimate and academically ready. The sustainability of this program is very important.

His Excellency Dr. Adjei-Barwuah, while in Berrien Springs, met with the Ghanaian community, and visited the NSG Group, one of the world's biggest glass manufacturing plants located in Niles, Michigan.

October 14, 2018
Private Emmanuel Mensah 

"Emmanuel Mensah was simply an amazing Private First Class (Pfc) of the United States (US) army. It is so honoring and equally humbling for me to receive such a huge recognition on his behalf from the Red Cross. May his soul rest in peace."

This was said Catherine Cudjoe who had just accepted a posthumous award for Pfc. Emmanuel Mensah from the American Red Cross in Greater New York (NY).

Catherine spoke to this writer barely a week after she had accepted the award on October 10, 2018, at The American Red Cross Local Hero Award gala themed 'Heroes Among Us', at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in NY. “He will be greatly missed, but he will equally be greatly loved for his valor and bravery,” she said about Pfc. Mensah.

She also thanked CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield from whom she accepted Private Mensah’s award, and “the entire Diaspora African community of NY, and well-wishers for their overwhelming support.”

Army Pfc. Mensah received the award due to his act of selflessness and bravery when in December 2017, while visiting his family in the Bronx, NY building located at 2363 Prospect Avenue, Belmont, in which he also lived [on the third floor].

During the visit, he noticed a fire breakout raging uncontrollably , and sprung into the part of the building with the fire from where he led neighbors to safety. Though 13 lives were claimed by the fire [his included], Mensah’s choice to put the lives of others before his saved four lives through his singular act of bravery.

“I still can’t think where he got the courage to do what he did. His actions will inspire a generation, including myself,” Catherine said, as she went on to explain that father of Pfc. Mensah, Kwabena Mensah, on behalf of their family “asked me to receive this honor on behalf of their son from the Red Cross ‘Heroes Among Us’.”

Prior to this Red Cross honor, the late Pfc. Mensah was posthumously awarded the highest award for valor outside of combat — the Soldier’s Medal, he also received the NY State Medal for Valor. Born May 11, 1991, in Accra, Ghana, the Private also received American citizenship in 2017 after he was brought to the US in 2012 by his father.

Catherine on behalf of the Mensah family told this writer that the family was thankful to Josh Lockwood — NY region Red Cross CEO, the entire Red Cross, the respective event sponsors including Macy’s Inc., Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and among others Ogilvy and IBM.

According to Catherine who is also President of the National Ghana Parade Council (NGPC) , the NGPC and the Ghanaian Community in NY will hold a thanksgiving vigil in the Bronx, on December 27, 2018, at 6 PM. “It will be in remembrance of the 6 Ghanaians among the 13 that lost their lives in the December 27, 2017 fire,” she calmly explained.

Source:  Oral Ofori

Google will open an AI center in Ghana later this year, its first in Africa

June 20, 2018

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Tech giants are pouring money into artificial intelligence. Baidu and Google spent between $20 and $30 billion on AI in 2016 alone, according to research from McKinsey. In Google’s case, a portion of that investment went to AI centers in China and France, and the Mountain View company shows no signs of slowing down. Today, Google announced its next AI research center will be in Accra, Ghana.

“In recent years, we’ve … witnessed an increasing interest in machine learning research across the continent,” senior Google AI fellow Jeff Dean and staff research scientist Moustapha Cisse wrote in a blog post. “Events like Data Science Africa 2017 in Tanzania, the 2017 Deep Learning Indaba event in South Africa, and follow-on IndabaX events in 2018 in multiple countries have shown an exciting and continuing growth of the computer science research community in Africa.”

Google said that employees in the new AI center, which will open later this year, will work closely with local universities, other research centers, and policymakers on the potential uses of AI in Africa. This is Google’s first center devoted solely to AI research in Africa and, as far as we can tell, the first from any tech giant (beating Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft to the punch).

“[W]e’re excited to combine our research interests in AI and machine learning and our experience in Africa to push the boundaries of AI while solving challenges in areas such as health care, agriculture, and education,” Cisse and Dean wrote.

The Google AI Center in Accra expands on Google’s efforts in the region. The company said 10 million Africans have completed its digital skills training program, and Launchpad Accelerator Africa, its tech startup incubator, is actively supporting 100,000 developers across 60 companies.

Google isn’t the only one investing in AI programs abroad. Early in 2018, Samsung announced the opening of new research centers in Toronto; Moscow; and Cambridge, England. Ecommerce company Etsy said it would open AI R&D offices in Toronto by the end of this year. And in January, Google and Facebook pledged to expand their AI investment in France.

Source: Venturebeat.com

Ambassador Adjei-Barwuah connects with Diaspora on US-Based Sankofa Radio

June 9, 2018

HE Dr. Barfour Adjei-Barwuah was hosted by Wofa Yaw Agarko Appea on Sankofa Radio’s ‘Susubribi Ma Wo Man’ show which airs on Saturdays at 10 AM-12: 30 PM. This was the first time an ambassador has paid a visit to the Ghanaian radio station based in Woodbridge, Virginia. He was interviewed in the Akan language.

On Representation of the People’s Amendment Law (ROPAL), the ambassador reiterated that for ROPAL to be successfully implemented, Ghanaians abroad must ensure that they have registered with their respective embassies, wherever they may be outside Ghana. He added that Ghanaians must drop the misconception that registering with the embassy can land them into trouble based on their immigration statuses.

“As at today, I have no idea of the number of Ghanaians in the US. We need this data to be able to plan for the successful implementation of ROPAL and to also have a working and readily available roster in times of emergency,” said Ambassador Adjei-Barwuah.

Continuing to plead with every Ghanaian on the matter, the Ambassador explained that embassies are the “last defense walls” of help in times of emergency and other needs, hence the need to register is not only for voting purposes.

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Clarifying whether a dual-citizen can register to vote, the Ambassador pointed out that “all are welcome to register themselves, we actually also want to encourage those born here [in the US] to assume Ghanaian citizenship to help in the development of their country of origin.”

According to the Ambassador if everyone registered there would be a rooster of specific variations catering to all kinds of matters, plus, “we will have easy access to you when needed,” he added. He, however, pointed out that, It’s not the embassy’s duty to enforce immigration rules: “it is our duty to protect the rights of every Ghanaian in the United States regardless of their immigration status.”

On import duties, the Ambassador said the perceived notion that they are high is relative, the specifics of which are not well founded. He cited that most of the duties and taxes collected at the ports go towards the development of infrastructures such as roads.

Land litigation involving Ghanaians abroad purchasing lands and properties in Ghana could be prevented the Ambassador if care is taken with land-acquisition. As he spoke on the matter the Ambassador cautioned all to do proper background investigations before purchasing. There are untrustworthy people all over he said; therefore a small level of diligence on the part of purchasers can go a long way to curb this nuisance.

Callers that phoned the radio station to interact with the Ambassador commended his work at the embassy.

Source:  Oral Ofori

Chef Francis Otoo presents Embassy Chef Challenge Awards to Ambassador Adjei-Barwuah

May 28, 2018

Executive Chef Francis Otoo has presented his double-silver trophies won at the 10th-anniversary edition of the annual Embassy Chef Challenge to Ambassador Barfour Adjei-Barwuah, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States.

Chef Francis Otoo made the presentation at the Embassy of Ghana in Washington, DC, barely a week after he won second-place prizes in the categories of the jury and public choices awards for cooking lamb Jollof as he represented Ghana at the Embassy Chef Challenge on May 17, 2018. This year’s event was the fifth time the Chef represented Ghana at the culinary competition.

While admiring the trophy, Ambassador Adjei-Barwuah in the company of embassy personnel said to Chef Otoo: “Your commitment to lifting high the flag of Ghana over the years as an Executive Chef is greatly appreciated and has eventually brought you this remarkable milestone.”

A letter of appreciation from the embassy signed by the Ambassador in part read, “We wish you every success in all your endeavors and pray for the good Lord’s continuous blessing on you and your family.” Chef Otoo said to TheAfricanDream.net that the letter was indeed a pleasant surprise.

He thanked the Ambassador and entire embassy staff for their support over the past half-decade when he began competing at the Embassy Chef Challenge and  said outside the meeting to TheAfricanDream.net, “I also want to thank everyone at Events DC and The Culinary project, TCMA, Cultural DC, and all who put this great event together as well as all who have supported me.”

Both the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice first place awards at this year’s Embassy Chef Challenge was won by Chef Sincioco-Mateo of the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington, DC, but Chef Otoo’s second place awards ensured that Africa was well represented on the medals table.

Source: Oral Ofori/Embassy of Ghana

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