The Council of Brong Ahafo Association of North America, COBAANA, has marked it’s 5th anniversary, with a fundraising ceremony, to mobilize funds for educational development projects in the Brong Ahafo region back home in Ghana.
The First Lady, Dr. Mrs. Lordina Mahama, a native of the region, who was also the guest of honor, says one of the core objectives of the Lordina foundation is to change lives through education.
Hence, her appreciation of the association using their rich cultural attributes to mobilize citizens, to direct their skills, expertise and resources towards enhancing education in Ghana. Mrs. Mahama applauded COBAANA at the gala and fundraising dinner dance at La Victoria Banquet Halls and Convention Centre in Toronto, Canada.
The First Lady, Dr. Mrs. Lordina Mahama says she is delighted at the elaborate program COBAANA has to engage citizens of Ghana living in the USA and Canada to focus attention on the promotion of education and seek support for educational initiatives in Ghana.
“So much is already happening in the area of education back home. This is the surest way we can effectively change people’s lives. I believe in education. In my experience, as a mother and First Lady, I know that a good education makes a big difference…So for the future of the Ghanaian economy, and our society, we need quality education for every child. This certainly explains why, in spite of all the pressures, Government spends the biggest part of the budget on education. It is estimated that 1/3 of Ghana’s national budget is spent on education.” She said.
Dr. Mrs. Mahama, a native of the region, pledged to do her best to bring sustainable development to the region, since the future of the region and the country is in the hands of its citizens.
“As a nation education must serve as a catalyst for eliminating ignorance, poverty, disease, unemployment and gender inequality…One of the core objectives of my foundation is changing lives through education, not just education but through technical and skills based training.” She noted
In May 2015, the Council of Brong Ahafo Association of North America, COBAANA, was formed and registered as a non-profit umbrella organization, purposely to mobilize indigenes and friends of the Brong Ahafo region, to support each other, promote B/A culture and supplement the Ghana government’s developmental projects in the region. COBAANA organizes annual fundraising, and has since 2012, shipped medical devices, worth over 100 thousand dollars, to the Sunyani Regional Hospital, in the Brong Ahafo region.
The 2015 fundraising ceremony, brought together indigenes of the Brong Ahafo region, residence in states in Canada and the United State of America, including Toronto, Washington, Chicago, Worcester, Columbus, Denver, Calgary, Cincinnati, New Jersey and New York among others.
The President of the Council of Brong Ahafo Association of North America, COBAANA, Mr. Alex Ankomah said this year’s accrued funds would go to support some elementary schools in rural areas that are still studying under trees.
The Brong Ahafo regional Minister, Mr. Eric Opoku said the government has embarked on massive educational infrastructural development projects, from the tertiary to elementary levels in the region. Adding that currently, there are some 1668 primary schools and out of this number, 1249 are well structured. The rest of the schools, he said, need at least six unit classroom blocks each, and therefore, COBAANA’s support could go a long way to secure permanent structures for the rest of the schools.
The M.P. for Newmarket-Aurora, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development in Canada, Madam LOIS BROWN, who was impressed with the initiative, described the relationship between Ghana and Canada as that of a family. She says Canada is already investing into several sectors of the economy.
Madam Lois Brown presented a citation, from the Canadian government, to the First Lady, commending her for her humanitarian work.
The Chairperson of the fundraising, Dr. Twum Barimah says his family is establishing a 150 thousand dollar community centre for the people of Dormaa in the Brong Ahafo region and also donated 2 thousand dollars to the COBAANA fund.