The Council of Ewe Associations of North America (CEANA) held its 26th Annual Convention from August 30 to September 1, 2019, at the Crowne Plaza Executive Park Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.

The event attended by an estimated 1,000 guests from the USA, Canada, Europe, Ghana, Togo and Benin was under the theme “The Role of Education in the Development of Eweland”. 

The convention, hosted by Ewe Association of Charlotte (EAC), one of the 18 constituent associations of CEANA, opened on Friday, August 30, 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 the 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.

CEANA convention

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 31.

A professor of mathematics and the first speaker for the morning, John-Harold Ahiable, 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.

The head of School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana, Professor, Sylvanus Kwashie Kuwor, 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.

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 the vice-chairman of NDC, Kofi Attor, who represented Former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, a civil engineering contractor, Mr. Anthony Klutsey, Togbe Hotormaho Amedzake of Abutia Traditional Area and Togbe Gbeworza of Afife Traditional Area.

CEANA convention

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.

CEANA convention

This is 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. 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.

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).