On 8 May the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Ghana UK Based Achievement (GUBA) hosted a welcome reception for Jon Benjamin, British High Commissioner – designate to Ghana. At the reception Nic Hailey, Director Africa at the FCO welcomed His Excellency Victor Smith, Ghanaian High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland.
The reception was attended by a number of high-profile Ghanaians in the UK including: Derek Boateng (footballer at Fulham FC), John Blavo (CEO of Blavo and Co Solicitors), Hugh Quarshie (Actor and GUBA Patron), John Fahy (Councillor for Woolwich Riverside Ward), Chris Hughton (former Norwich manager), and Mr and Mrs Kingsley Appiagyei of Trinity Baptist Church. All were keen to wish Mr Benjamin well, before he begins his tour of duty at the end of this month.
Mr Benjamin assured those present of his commitment to maintaining and improving UK/Ghana relations, adding; “It is a huge honour and privilege to be able to represent the UK in Ghana. I look forward to working with the diaspora in the UK whose diversity and dynamism demonstrates that the UK/Ghana relationship is about so much more than politics.”
This sentiment was echoed by Dentaa Amoateng, CEO of GUBA who called for even stronger ties between the two countries; “Ghanaians in the UK have proven themselves as assets to the UK economy. We hope that they [His Excellency Victor Smith and Mr Benjamin] continue to improve the measures to guarantee the smooth and prosperous relationship, put in place by their predecessors.”
After the reception, the Ghana High Commission reiterated the importance of cooperation between Ghana and the UK and reaffirmed their support for GUBA: “The High Commission of the Republic of Ghana to the United Kingdom is pleased to be associated with the 2014 GUBA Awards. The GUBA Foundation, no doubt, has a positive impact on sectors of the society thereby complementing Government’s effort towards socio-economic development. The GUBA Awards, which is a practical demonstration of the cordial relations that exist between the UK and Ghana, celebrates excellence and the partnership of British Ghanaians. The event has the potential to harness the talents and skills of the Ghanaian Diaspora in the UK to advance the development of the Country.”
GUBA is committed to ensuring that Ghana and the UK remain in partnership to bring about much needed change in their economies. Through its work in the UK so far, GUBA is slowly bridging the gap between both countries and this event contributes towards solidifying that objective.
GUBA Team Members with HE Jon Benjamin
PHOTOGRAPHY: Ernest Simmons