The 7th edition of the Ghana Garden and Flower Show which began August 28, 2019 has ended with a call on Ghanaians to be the change they want to see in their respective homes, within their neighborhoods, communities and the country as a whole.
Themed “Be the Change”, the Show focused on individual responsibility for developing and maintaining green and clean neighborhoods, through the cultivation of flower and food gardens. The Show was also used to deepen awareness about the effects of global warming on Ghana’s environment and how floriculture and horticulture could be harnessed to address the situation.
This year’s Show, which was held in the year in which Stratcomm Africa is celebrating its 25th anniversary, attracted over 140 exhibitors and more than 20,000 visitors. Products exhibited included; flowers, ornamental plants, garden tools and ornaments, cosmetics and skin care products, and agro chemicals. The rest were; garden furniture, garden inspired fashion, as well as amazing creative pieces from Constance Swaniker’s Accents & Arts.
One of the unique features of this year’s Show was the Green Innovation Competition organized in collaboration with the Embassy of the state of Israel in Ghana with the objective of encouraging Green Innovation among Ghanaians whilst also promoting startups.
After a rigorous selection process, Coologi, an organization represented by Mr Prince Pius Nutsugahwon the first prize. Pius and his Coologi colleagues have invented an eco-friendly low energy chamber that prolongs the shelf life of fruits and vegetables to help reduce postharvest losses. For his prize, Mr Nutsugah gets a fully sponsored return trip to Israel for capacity building in his area of expertise. Messrs. Isaac Atayure Seidu and Prince Kwame Agbata emerged first and second runners up respectively.
The Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Shani Cooper-Zubida said, “The State of Israel is a nation of innovation and helps to stimulate innovation wherever it finds itself, thus the Embassy is delighted to have introduced the Green Innovation Competition to promote innovation, encourage startups, while also helping to develop Ghana’s floriculture industry. She congratulated the winners and urged them to continue innovating to develop the floriculture industry in Ghana. She also congratulated Stratcomm Africa and its CEO, initiators of the Show and the Ghana Garden and Flower Movement.
Other individuals and organizations were recognized for their efforts in helping to create a Cleaner, Greener, Wealthier, Healthier, more Beautiful Ghana. They are; Best Private Garden – Theodora Lamptey, Logos Rema Church, Ridge Church, Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Asylum Down branch for initiating a special “Flower Service” and TV3 Sanitation Campaign. The rest are; The Ghana Journalists Association(GJA) for its Environmental Sanitation Project, Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) for the Accra Greening and Beautification Project, Jamestown Ngleshie NoyaaKpee (JTNNK) and Kempinski Hotel.
Another unique feature this year was a pre-show conference held on 23rd August, 2019 atAMA Conference Hall. The conference with the theme; “Be The Change”, attracted over 150 participants. They benefited from a number of experts including, Dr Juliet Tuakli of CHILD Accra, Professor Peter Kwapong of the Department of Entomology and Wildlife, College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, University Of Cape-Coast and Mr. Felix Baidoo of the Ghana Recycling Initiative by Private Enterprises (GRIPE).The keynote speaker was an expert from the Netherlands, Mr. Jan Van Den Berg, who shared his knowledge and practical experience about floriculture. The expert, whose participation was facilitated by the Netherlands Embassy in Ghana, also highlighted the immense economic value that can be gained from floriculture, as has happened in the Netherlands.
While in Ghana, Mr Jan Van Den Berg visited flower and vegetable plantations, met and interacted with experts in the industry and shared with them ideas for growing the industry in Ghana. Mr. Berg’s main message during the period was the urgent need for collaboration for the growth of Ghana’s floriculture industry. He said “Stories about the growth of the floriculture industry from countries such as Holland, Kenya, Ethiopia etc, show that the floriculture industry grows through collaboration and not individual efforts only.” He therefore urged Ghanaians seeking opportunities in the industry to unite and grow the industry, as Ghana has the potential.
The Chief Executive Officer of Stratcomm Africa, , Ms. Esther A. N. Cobbah, thanked the sponsors, exhibitors and patrons for helping the Show to grow bigger and better over the years. Ms. Cobbah stated that, “We can all contribute to the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) if we individually and collectively contribute to a Cleaner, Greener, Wealthier, Healthier, more Beautiful Ghana by being the change we want to see in our homes, neighborhoods and across the country”.
“Through activities such as the Ghana Garden and Flower Show, Stratcomm Africa employs its communication expertise, in event management, behavior change communication and more to contribute to national development and individual livelihood enhancement. This is also consistent with the theme of our 25th Anniversary celebration, Communication Excellence for Africa’s prosperity in this digital age”, she added.