The Council of Ewe Associations of North America (CEANA) held its 26th Annual Convention from August 30th to September 1st, 2019, at the Crowne Plaza Executive Park Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, under the theme “The Role of Education in the Development of Eweland.“ The event was attended by an estimated one thousand guests from the USA, Canada, Europe, Ghana, Togo and Benin.
The convention, hosted by Ewe Association of Charlotte (EAC), one of the eighteen (18) constituent associations of CEANA, opened on Friday, August 30th, with a board meeting of the CEANA Council of Representatives (COR), chaired by Dr. Peter Nat Abotchie, the President of CEAN. The morning’s business included a review of operations for the past year, induction of new associations, approval of project reports, new high school scholarship applications, financial report and budget, and election of new executives. Friday evening was capped with well-choreographed cultural performances by the Volta Ensemble of Washington DC, Divine Ladies of Grace and the youth wing of the Ewe Association of Charlotte.
A procession of delegates and guests from the various associations was ushered amidst jubilation and celebration into the general conference venue on the morning of Saturday, August 31st. Dr. John-Harold Ahiable, a professor of mathematics, the first Speaker of the morning gave a practical demonstration of teaching numeracy and mathematics in the Ewe language. According to him, young children achieve a better grasp of mathematical concepts if they are expressed in their first language and related to daily events at home. Professor, Sylvanus Kwashie Kuwor, Head of Department of Dance Studies, School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, in a riveting presentation related Ewe drum language to science and mathematics. The keynote address, given by Dr. Komi S. Folly, dwelt on the lack of adequate modern educational resources necessary for the proper education of the youth of Eweland. He appealed to Ewes in the diaspora to support CEANA’s vision to upgrade educational infrastructure in the region.
President of CEANA, Dr. Tsatsu Nyamadi
The evening showcased the unique culture of Eweland with a procession of chiefs, comprising of dignitaries and traditional leaders from the USA, Canada, and Ghana, including Hon. Kofi Attor, vice chairman of NDC, who represented Former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama with a message of solidarity; Mr. Anthony Klutsey, a civil engineering contractor; Togbe Hotormaho Amedzake of Abutia Traditional Area; and Togbe Gbeworza of Afife Traditional Area.
In his farewell address as the outgoing CEANA President, Dr. Peter Nat Abotchie, thanked the CEANA Council of Representatives (COR), as well as leadership of the associations that hosted all the annual conventions under his six-year leadership. He recalled the fast-paced commitment with which his administration implemented seven development projects, ranging from classroom buildings, health facilities, and medical equipment donations in various communities across Eweland. He laid emphasis on CEANA’s commitment to implement development projects in Togo as well as the expansion of CEANA’s high school scholarship scheme to Togo and Benin.
Dr. Abotchie’s address drew attention to CEANA’s collaboration with the civil engineering department of Ho Technical University, led by Professor Emmanuel Afetorgbor, that has facilitated the start of construction work on a footbridge across River Tordzie aimed at providing relief to the people of Agordoe (in the Akatsi district) who have had to swim across the river daily to access Torve for school or Akatsi and beyond for social and health services.
The CEANA President alluded to his vision and focus that has raised CEANA’s public profile and resulted in the recruitment of 6 new associations to raise CEANA’s constituent membership to 18 Ewe associations across North America. He gave credit to the more than the fifteen committees that he formed and tasked along the way to help transform CEANA’s administrative processes and ramp up its focus on fundraising and community development projects. He further advised his former vice president, the newly-elected President, Dr. Tsatsu Nyamadi to remain true to his vision for CEANA and to propel CEANA forward through working closely with members of the CEANA Council of Representatives.
The annual fundraiser and solicitation for membership of the CEANA Star Club, drew contributions and pledges from guests in attendance. The evening was rounded off with the induction of new Executives, and the official transfer of the mandate to host the next CEANA Convention to Ewe Association of Georgia, led by Mr. William Kumah who was sworn in as the next 2nd Vice President of CEANA.
A well-attended non-denominational church service was held the next morning, officiated by a team of clergy led by Rev. Martin Osae, Rev. Dr. Mawusi Akotia, Moderator of Eglise Evangélique Presbytérienne du Togo, and Rev. Dr, Setorwu K. Ofori, Moderator of Global Evangelical Church. Thereafter, convention guests converged on the CEANA Convention Picnic which featured dishes from Eweland amid agbadza and borborbor tunes. Sunday evening was crowned with misegli loo, a rendition of a cultural pastime of evening story-telling. On Monday, September 2, 2019, convention delegates and guests departed to their various home destinations across North America, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Europe with a renewed sense of unity, friendship and purpose.
MCs for the convention programs were Mr. Steve Dei and Mr. Mawuli Agbenu. Sponsorship, media, video and photography coverage were provided by Sankofa Media of Chicago and Benny’s Photography of East Hartford, Connecticut.
The following resolutions/actions were adopted:
1. Approval of scholarship awards for qualified high school students upon receipt of vetted applications in Ghana, Togo and Benin.
2. Commission of new development projects in Ghana and Togo.
3. Induction of Ewe Association of Columbus, Ohio into CEANA.
4. Approval of Ewe Association of Georgia, as the host the 2020 CEANA Convention.
5. Induction of the following newly-elected Executives; Dr. Tsatsu Nyamadi (President), Prince Kofi Gbeklui (1st Vice President), William Kumah (2nd Vice President), Mary Narnor (Secretary), Florence Ayimey-Lokko (Financial Controller) and Patrick Adzadu (Public Relations Officer).
On behalf of the CEANA Secretariat and the CEANA Council, the new president of CEANA, Dr. Tsatsu Nyamadi, congratulates the delegates, guests, and Ewe Association of Charlotte for making CEANA 2019 a success. The following are acknowledged for their invaluable contributions to the cultural performance throughout the convention; Volta Ensemble of Washington DC, led by Dr. Faustina Quist, for performances; Professors Foli Alorwoyi, Elikem Nyamuame and Sylvanus Kuwor for performances; Nene Gagli III, Chief of Kpetoe for sponsoring performance costumes. Special appreciation goes to the outgoing 2nd Vice-President of CEANA Mr. Cyrille Kwami Ahovi and the 2019 Convention Planning Committee.