COBAANA Celebrates Annual Convention

COBAANA Celebrates Annual Convention
COBAANA Celebrates Annual Convention

COBAANA Celebrates Annual Convention

Nana Appiah Washington, D.C. – The Council of Brong Ahafo Associations of North America (COBAANA) held its Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. from August 31 to September 1, 2013 with pomp and splendor.

The theme for the Convention was “Our Children’s Health is our Regional Wealth.” The theme enabled COBAANA to deliberate and reflect on the healthcare issues facing Ghana, particularly the Brong Ahafo Region. The 2013 Convention also focused on a fundraiser in aid of the Sunyani Regional Hospital.

COBAANA’s Conventions get better and better each year. This year’s was judged the best with regard to attendance, delegates’ participation, planning and entertainment. Inaugurated in May 2010 in Toronto, Canada, with five chapters, COBAANA now boasts of nine Chapters. Dignitaries who graced the occasion included representatives from the Ghana High Commission in Washington, D.C., the Mayor’s Office in Gaithersburg and Mrs. Rose Brobbey, the Ghana High Commission to Guinea.

The Convention’s activities started with the arrival and registration of guests on August 31, 2013. In the afternoon of Saturday, the COBAANA Council held a meeting of delegates drawn from the nine COBAANA member Associations from cities across the United States and Canada, namely: New York City, Chicago, Denver, Columbus, Washington, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Toronto and Calgary (Canada). Mr. Alex Ankomah, the Chairman of COBAANA, and Mr. Thomas Kyeremeh Chairman of Washington Chapter, opened the Council meeting with a welcome message to the delegates. The afternoon’s business included a review of the organization’s activities for the past year, approval of the budget for the next year and rendering of COBAANA’s financial account. The discussions were so lively and fruitful that members were asking for more but due to time constraints the meeting had to come to an end.

Later in the evening the teeming guests were treated to a sumptuous dinner and cultural extravaganza. The hall was electrified and dignified as Chiefs and Queen Mothers from the various Associations entered to take their seats. The procession into the reception hall was led by Nana (Dr.) Nkrumah Brobbey and Nana Yaa Awusi Yeboah, both from the New York Chapter.

In his address, the Chairman of COBAANA, Mr. Alex Ankomah, highlighted the achievements of COBAANA. He noted with pride that the vision of the founders of COBAANA – bringing together all the people of Brong Ahafo resident in North America – was bearing much fruit. COBAANA has been able to assist Brong Ahafoans in North America as well as in Ghana. In August 2013, the Council donated motorized beds worth $30,000 to the Sunyani Regional Hospital in addition to bed sheets and other health supplies donated earlier in the past. Mr. Ankomah also mentioned that plans were far advanced to help fund a blood bank for the hospital. Moreover, plans to provide scholarships for needy but brilliant and gifted students in the region were almost complete. He concluded by paying homage to those who strived to see the formation of COBAANA become a reality. He urged delegates and all to keep the dream alive, saying “we must not, indeed cannot, let the flame they lit flicker.”

In line with this thinking, COBAANA presented awards to members who have shown themselves to be committed to the ideals, principles and aspirations of the people of Brong Ahafo and rendered exceptional service to them. These included the Reverend Kwasi Amponsah-Yeboah, former Chairman of COBAANA, Mr. Augustine Boahen of Calgary Chapter, and Dr. Gabriel Amoateng of Chicago. The Chicago Chapter was acknowledged and presented with a Certificate of Merit citing their immense contribution to COBAANA.

Nana Damoah Adusi-Poku III, a chief from the Wenchi Traditional Area, was the Guest Speaker. In his remarks, Nana Adusi-Poku expressed concern about deteriorating levels of the healthcare system in the Brong Ahafo Region and asked the participants to contribute their quota to raise the standard up. He reminded participants of being blessed to be abroad enjoying the superb healthcare delivery of North America. Nana urged all Chapter members, especially health professionals from the region in the Diaspora to make their skills available to the various clinics and hospitals in the region during their visits to Ghana. He also pleaded with delegates to embrace the American cultural generosity and help the less fortunate ones in Ghana.

On Sunday September 1, 2013 delegates were entertained at a Picnic at the Seneca Creek State Park of Gaithersburg where all kinds of food were served. Azonto dance competition was organized for the children. The first, second, and third positions were won by children from the Columbus, Ohio Chapter.

The next COBAANA Convention will be held in New York City, “the City that never sleeps” from August 29 – September 1, 2014, the Labor Day Weekend. For COBAANA, the sky is the limit!

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