The British High Commission in Accra was the recipients of the inaugural Commonwealth Development Award at the just ended Emy Africa Awards at the plush Kempinski Hotel.
The team, led by the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Iain Walker, was honoured by the EMY Board in partnership with the Africa Office of the Royal Commonwealth Society, for the invaluable role they have played in promoting the Commonwealth thematic areas of prosperity, security, sustainability and fairness.
Part of the Citation for the award read: “We acknowledge and honour the work of the British High Commission, Accra for their efforts to promote the values of the Commonwealth in the areas of Prosperity and Economic Growth, Health, Education and Inclusion and Regional Security…”
“Their work in supporting the government of Ghana’s efforts to make education and health accessible to all is evident in the over 140,000 children who now have access to quality education and the over 200,000 out-of-school children who have gone back to the classroom.”
On receiving the award, Iain Walker emphatically stated that the UK is happy to be part of the development story of Ghana.
“The story of Ghana is changing the story of Africa and changing the narrative across the world.”
He reiterated the strong bilateral relationship between the UK and other countries, particularly Ghana.
Whilst paying glowing tribute to his team, he was quick to mention an initiative close to his heart, a bike ride from Tamale to Accra, which aims to raise funding for some development projects in the country.
The Commonwealth Africa representative, John Apea, explained the British High Commission was selected from across various Commonwealth missions in Africa for the Commonwealth Award at the EMY Award.
“The High Commission has worked with the government of Ghana in creating the UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC),” he said.
The Council is a biannual high-level meeting between top UK and Ghana government Officials and ministers to increase trade and investment and emphasize the development of priority sectors of the Ghanaian economy that leads to job creation and sustained economic growth
“Their work in supporting the government of Ghana’s efforts to make health accessible to all is evident by the 30,000 healthy births with the help of nurses, midwives or doctors and 110,000 additional women who now have access modern methods of family planning.
“The Africa office of The Royal Commonwealth Society, together with our eminent board of patrons, faculty and secretariat recognise the visionary leadership and excellent team who have consistently prioritised UK – Ghana relations to shape our common future, fulfil the SDGs and strengthen the Commonwealth, and find the British High Commission, Accra a worthy recipient of the inaugural Commonwealth Development Award,” he said as part of the citation.
Mr Apea also congratulated the organizers of the EMY Africa Awards, particularly Kojo Sobo whose tireless efforts led to such a grand event.
“The Commonwealth is proud of this partnership and looks forward to greater collaboration in the coming years across Africa,” he added.