Parsippany, NJ (September 2016) – The Council of Ewe Associations of North America (CEANA) celebrated their 23rd Annual Convention from September 2 to September 5, 2016, at the Sheraton Parsippany Hotel, NJ.
The theme for the Convention was “Uniting to build Eweland – Dekawowo hena Ewenyigba tutu”. The focus of the 2016 convention was fundraising toward the completion of the CEANA-funded Vui A.M.E. School classroom building project, scholarship awards to students in Ghana, Togo and Benin, and the completion of water facilities in two communities in Togo.
The convention activities started with the arrival and registration of guests on Thursday, September 1.
The Convention began with a CEANA Council board meeting on Friday, September 2 which included a review of the organization’s activities during the past year, approval of a program and budget for the next year, and re-election of Dr. Peter Nat. Abotchie as CEANA President, together with a team of new officers of the CEANA Secretariat.
The next day began with the CEANA General Conference and featured presentations from three invited speakers, Mr. Edwin K. Agbonyitor CEO of 3G Global Konsulting, Mrs. Margaret Kordorwu Korto- Senior Program Analyst and Manager of the National African Immigrant Project, and Rev. Dr. Cyril Fayose, President of the Evangelical Presbyterian (EP) University College.
They spoke respectively on strategies to successfully operate an NGO in the US, mental health and wellness issues, and building facilities for E.P. University College in Ho. The General Conference was closely followed by the CEANA Business Opportunity Forum which featured Mrs. Stella Akosua Ansah, Minister/Counsellor (Commercial), Embassy of Ghana, and Nana Ofei Asamani I, Chairman, Reinbee Group Limited, Ghana, who spoke on Investment and Trade Opportunities in Ghana.
The Saturday evening banquet and fundraiser, commenced with the arrival of dignitaries and invited guests; His Excellency Justice Victor Jones Mawulom Dotse, Supreme Court Justice; His Excellency Skido Achulo, Deputy Head of Missions at the Embassy of Ghana, Washington DC; His Excellency Justice Sulley Gbadegbe, Supreme Court Justice; Mrs. Stella Ansah, Minister/Counsellor (Commercial), Embassy of Ghana, Washington DC; Togbui Wallace Setrana; Togbui Kwaku Yador; Togbe Tornu Yao V, Nana Ofei Asamani I, Chairman, Reinbee Group Limited; Very Rev. Dr. Seth Senyo Agidi, EP Church Moderator; and Rev. Dr. Cyril Fayose, President of the EP University College, Ho. A procession of Chiefs and Queenmothers led by the cultural group of Ewe Alliance of USA-New Jersey, displayed the rich Ewe culture in a performance of unique cultural dances featuring the rich kente of Eweland.
The keynote speaker for the evening was His Excellency Justice Victor Jones Mawulom Dotse whose address congratulated and challenged CEANA to strive to do more to improve the lives of people back home through physical projects and other educational and social initiatives.
He was followed by Mr. Skido Achulo who also congratulated CEANA for the vision and the initiative to contribute toward infrastructural and social development back home. The highlight of the evening, the annual Star Fundraiser, drew contributions and pledges from the 800 banquet attendants.
Late in the evening, the honor and mandate to host the 2017 convention was bestowed on Togbui Napoleon Sefordzi, – President of United Volta Association of New York (UVA) who pledged to work diligently with the President to achieve the goals set for the 2017 Convention which is scheduled for Labor Day weekend in Tarrytown, New York, September 1 to 4, 2017.
After a non-denominational church service, officiated by Rev. Dr. Peter Agbelie, Rev. Dr. Fayose, Rev. Vivian Balasu-Ado, and Very Rev. Seth Senyo Agidi, convention guests converged on Green Pond Park for the much-anticipated CEANA Picnic.
Various dishes from Ghana, Togo, and Benin were served at the park, in an atmosphere filled with merry making and agbadza and borborbor tunes. Sunday’s activities were crowned with “misegli loo”, a rendition of an old cultural pastime of evening story-telling.
On Monday, September 5, 2016, convention delegates and guests returned to their various home destinations across North America, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Europe with a renewed sense of unity, friendship, and purpose.
At the end of deliberations, the CEANA Council of Representatives;
1. Approved 45 scholarship awards for the 2016/2017 academic school year, to deserving students in Ghana, Togo and Benin.
2. Approved United Volta Association of New York to host the 24th Annual CEANA Convention in 2017.
3. Elected new officers; Dr. Peter Nat Abotchie, President; Dr. Tsatsu Nyamadi, 1st Vice President; Mr. Napoleon Sefordzi, 2nd Vice President; Ms. Mary Narnor, Secretary; Mrs. Florence Lokko, Financial Controller; and Mr. Patrick Adzadu, Public Relation Officer.
4. Inducted the 17th member association, Novisi Association of New Jersey, into CEANA.
5. Resolved to continue work on the documentation of indigenous Ewe settlements in Southwest Nigeria.
The re-elected President of CEANA, Dr. Peter Nat Abotchie, members of the CEANA Council (COR), and the Secretariat are grateful to all delegates, convention guests and friends of CEANA for making the 2016 Convention a success.
Special appreciation goes to the outgoing Vice-President of CEANA & Event Chairman Elizabeth Torgbe (Mama Dze Dunyo) and the entire membership of the Ewe Alliance of USA, for organizing the 2016 CEANA Convention. Coverage by Sankofa Media of Chicago. Visit www.ceanaonline.org for more information.