Story: Nana Sifa Twum, London
Ghana’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo, has been elected as the Chairperson for the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Foundation at the Foundation’s meeting in London.
He assumes office with immediate effect for a two-year term. Member countries of the Commonwealth Foundation executive committee include Barbados, Canada, Grenada, India, Maldives and New Zealand. The rest include Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Uganda and the United Kingdom.
Twice a year the small group of members of the Board of Governors meet as the Executive Committee to review resources and programmatic financial affairs of the Commonwealth Foundation.
The Foundation engages in research and publishing as well as organising training workshops and developing tools to equip groups for the challenges they face within the Commonwealth. Again, it provides grants to universities and students.
It has over the years undertaken various projects in the areas of culture, information and the media, rural development, social welfare and the handicapped as well as the role of women in national development. The Foundation has also involved in dozens of initiatives each year by raising skills levels and understanding among civil society organisations, governments and the wider international community.
Many organisations within the Commonwealth are equipped by the Foundation through advocacy to feed their thoughts and expertise into Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings by providing them the platform at the Commonwealth Ministerial Meetings on Health, Education, Finance and Women’s Affairs.
Among other things, Professor Danso-Boafo’s first task will be the steering of the committee to find simple but effective means of establishing a fairer scale of contribution to the commonwealth Secretariat.
Currently, only six commonwealth countries contribute 75 percent of all the contributions to the Commonwealth Secretariat, an agreement that was reached in Melbourne in September 1981.
The committee will ensure equitable distribution of contributions paid to the foundation by member Governments and maintain their proportionate contributions at the same level as their assessed contribution to the Commonwealth Secretarial.
Speaking to The Graphic after the meeting, the Ghanaian Envoy noted that Ghana has gained an outstanding recognition within the international community because of the exceptional role it has played and the superior contributions made towards the upholding of democracy and rule of law.
“To this end we need to work hard as a nation to play a more leadership and excellent role in the affairs of the international community,” he noted
Professor Danso-Boafo recounted Ghana’s dynamic efforts within the international community and noted that these have been hailed by all international organisations such as the United Nation, the Africa Union and the ECOWAS as resounding.
He said he will want to take the opportunity to canvas among the Commonwealth fraternity the urgent need for unity and thwart the plans of the peeved nations to stay away from the organisation. “We need all on board to achieve our goals,” he acknowledged.
The Ghanaian High Commissioner said he will engage in vigorous bilateral talks with member states to strengthen the exciting noble relationship between member countries.
Describing the role as an honour to himself and Ghana, he was also of the view that his success in his role will enhance Ghana’s international image as in the case of Mr. Kofi Annan among other Ghanaians adding “I will do all that I can to ensure a vibrant and fruitful organisation and at the end of the day we will have much to show by way of success”.