The Ghana UK Based Achievement (GUBA) Awards has become the main pillar of British-Ghanaian Diaspora in London, particularly for the younger generation
involved in the arts and music, Mr Jon Benjamin, outgoing British High Commissioner, has said.
He said the GUBA awards celebrated entrepreneurs who at some stages thought it was impossible to do it, had no access to capital or probably did not know anyone.
Mr Benjamin made these remarks in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) during the launch of the 2017 GUBA Awards, an event to showcase and celebrate the excellence and achievement within the British Ghanaian community.
The prestigious, annual awards ceremony inaugurated in October 2010, had been acknowledged and endorsed for its role in recognising Ghanaian achievement in the UK, as well as promoting the national interest of Ghana and the African community, by dignitaries and organisations.
The Out-going British High Commissioner noted that in the British government, economic assistance or aid programmes for Ghana was a very strong element which was promoting young entrepreneurs.
He said giving seed money to people with the best business ideas was a good initiative, as it had chalked some successes, adding that “one of our favorites at the moment is Boomers International Limited based in Kumasi, who produce the bamboo frame bicycles”.
He said it began with one person and a couple of friends and now employing more than 50 people and exporting to several European countries; and would therefore, export to UK and other countries, employing hundreds if not thousands of Ghanaians.
Mr Benjamin said: “As a country we should be interested in such initiatives to create more jobs; as government essentially did not create jobs, but the private sector”.
He told the GNA that even though he would soon leave, Ghana would always have a place in his heart.
“It has been an interesting place and eventful years; and will always look out for Ghana and help, and as such continue to be linked to organisations like GUBA”, he added.
Mr Benjamin said the 2017 edition of the awards coincides with Ghana’s 60th anniversary celebration; stating that is “where we celebrate history and modern links”.
He explained that” there was no better representation of our modern relationship than what GUBA does.”
Mr Papa Owusu –Ankomah, Ghana’s High Commissioner to the UK, who officially launched the 2017 GUBA Awards, also commended GUBA for the laudable initiative.
He said the GUBA initiative, would also strengthen the Ghana-UK relations.
He said it was important that the Ghanaian Diaspora participated fully in the affairs of Ghana, and so far, the award scheme had played a very key role in that direction.
He assured the organisers of his participation in this year’s event, was however hopeful that GUBA Awards would move Ghana and its human resource phase to another level.
The 2017 edition registered categories such as ‘Animator of the year award, Professional of the year award, Charity of the year award, Ghanaian alumni award, Made in Ghana Products award, Business start-up of the year, Efie ne fie award and Black award nominees for 2017’.
The event slated for June 3, in London, would be sponsored by the British High Commission, ECOM Ghana, PayAngel, ABN TV and Radio, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Imperial Homes, Unibank Ghana Limited, Vlisco Ghana, Kente Queen and Acote Collections.
The rest are Faze 2 Services, e-volution International, Plan it Ghana and Jay Renkyi.