Conservative MP Adam Afriyie, viewed in some quarters as a potential future party leader, has given his backing to the UK’s only awards scheme to officially recognise British-Ghanaian talent.
The MP for Windsor has described the Ghana UK-Based Achievement (GUBA) Awards as an “inspired platform . . . to highlight the significant and valuable contribution British Ghanaians make to the UK”.
And Mr Afriyie, whose father was from Ghana, is now appealing to British-Ghanaians and members of the wider African community to also throw their “considerable and much-needed” weight behind the scheme.
Nominations for this year’s awards, which cover the worlds of sport, business, retail, politics, education, fashion and entertainment, are now open to the public.
Afriyie said: “I am delighted to support the 2013 GUBA Awards. They are an inspired platform, a fantastic opportunity to highlight the significant and valuable contribution British-Ghanaians make to the UK.
“People with Ghanaian heritage make a significant contribution to all spheres of British society, from the worlds of business, sport, politics and entertainment, and GUBA is instrumental in delivering the recognition they deserve.
“The awards help to cement further the special relationship between the UK and Ghana and are vital to the on-going goal of putting British-Ghanaians and relations with Ghana on the map.
“I appeal to all British-Ghanaians and members of the wider African community to throw their considerable and much-needed weight behind the awards and nominate award candidates today.”
Now in their fourth year, the GUBA Awards — a non-profit organisation backed by the Ghana High Commission — have become the benchmark of business and innovative success, recognising achievement and enterprise within the UK’s 500,000-strong Ghanaian community as well as the “outstanding and valuable” contribution that British-Ghanaians make to both countries.
The accolade of winning a GUBA Award has the potential of “transforming the future of an individual or organisation”, it is claimed.
Since their creation in 2010, a variety of politicians, celebrities and other high-profile stars have lent their support including Tony and Cherie Blair, Dianne Abbott MP, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, actor Hugh Quarshie, and — most recently — Adam Afriyie MP.
Previous GUBA Award winners include the footballer John Mensah, entrepreneurs Sir Sam Jonah and Roland Agambire, Labour politician Lord Paul Boateng and musician Mista Silva.
Dentaa Amoateng, the Awards founder, said: “Every year the GUBA Awards gets bigger and better and, year-on-year, we take enormous pleasure and pride in unearthing a whole array of fantastic Ghanaians and Africans who are worthy of recognition.
“This year, the competition is set to be the toughest yet, but with the support of the British-Ghanaian and African communities we believe we can find those who are worthy of nomination for this year’s GUBA Awards and – ultimately – those worthy of an award on the night.”
She added: “We are still searching for outstanding individuals and worthy candidates for categories including Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Charity of The Year and Business of the Year and would welcome new nominations.”
At least 1,000 entrants from a cross-section of industries are expected to take part in this year’s awards, which are free to enter and divided into 11 categories: Business of the Year; IIA Sustainability Award; Efie Ne Fie Award; Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Rising Star of the Year; Fashion Fusion Designer of the Year; Music Act of the Year; Ghanaian Association of the Year; Inspirational Personality of the Year; Unsung Hero of the Year; and Charity of The Year.
The winners will be announced at a high-profile black-tie event at the exclusive Park Plaza Hotel in London on 16 November.
Members of the public can nominate individuals, organisations or businesses by visiting http://www.gubaawards.co.uk/nominations/