Republic of Ghana
October 11, 2006
by Edward Aboagye
UPF-Ghana has held four out of the planned twelve rallies for peace. Due to financial difficulty, the first few rallies were delayed; however, the program is progressing with advance teams sent to prepare the way in six cities: Ho, Koforidua, Kumasi, Takoradi, Cape Coast and Elubo.
Bearing the name of a proud culture that had flourished in ancient times, Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African nation to obtain independence from colonial rule and establish a modern nation in 1957. English is the main language spoken, sharing official status with nine local languages. In addition to Christianity, there are many believers of Islam and indigenous African beliefs. The Republic of Ghana is located on the Atlantic Ocean, in the area once known as the "Gold Coast."
With some financial contribution from a Japanese volunteer and families associated with UPF-Ghana, four city tours have been completed: Ho, Koforidua, Kumasi, and Takoradi, with Cape Coast and Elubo scheduled for October 13 and 14, respectively.
1) Ho is the regional capital for Volta Region, in the southeast part of Ghana; it is a city with a population of over 300,000, known for its large regional market, several hospitals and Internet cafes. It was a good choice for the first rally. Setting out at 4:00 am on October 3, the Tour team comprising UPF President Paul Gayina, Vice President Mrs. Helen Osei, Secretary General Edward Aboagye, Ambassador for Peace Alhaji T. S. Kerim, Dr. Daniel Quaye, and three others drove three hours to join Mr. and Mrs. Edward Sosu, who had been at Ho for a week preparing for the occasion.
The first rally started at 2:30 pm at Freedom Hotel in the heart of Ho, with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church Choir in attendance. The program began with a prayer by the imam of the city, followed by the Holy Drink Ceremony. The Founder's Speech was read by Rev. Gayina. Mr. and Mrs. Osei conducted the Blessing ceremony and the holy burning ceremony. In all, 61 persons including Christians, Muslim academics and local politicians participated, and seven dignitaries were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace. The program ended with a Christian prayer.
2) Koforidua, the capital of the eastern region, was the second venue for the Peace Rally. It is located not far from Lake Volta and has a population of approximately 90,000. The tour team consisting of five persons drove four hours from Ho to Koforidua on October 4 after morning devotions, to join Rev. and Mrs. J. B. Danquah, who went there a week earlier to prepare for the event. In Koforidua the same format was followed, and the Founder's Speech was read by Rev. Gayina. The Holy Juice, Blessing and holy burning ceremonies were conducted by Mr. and Mrs. Aboagye. In total, about 59 persons attended and five more persons were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace.
3) Kumasi is the second largest city in Ghana, known as the "Garden City" due to the wide range of plants and flowers that grow in the region. On October 5, the Tour Team traveled there to hold the rally. Kumasi is the capital of the Ashanti region, with a population of over a million. Brother Charles Owusu had gone there a week earlier to prepare for the event. A well-known imam opened the event with a prayer. The Founder’s Address was read by Rev. Gayina, followed by the holy juice, Blessing and the burning ceremonies. Fifty-four persons attended, and eleven dignitaries were appointed as Ambassadors for Peace.
In Kumasi, the guest of honour was Nana Ampofo Kyei Baffour II, the representative of the King of Ashanti, who was also appointed as an Ambassador for Peace. He promised to inform the king of the work of UPF.
4) Takoradi. October 6 was the turn of Takoradi, the third largest city in Ghana and an important commercial and industrial area. It is the capital of the western region, with a population of over 500,000. The Tour Team joined Pastor Aidoo and Thomas Folly, who went there a week earlier to prepare for the event. In Takoradi, an imam opened the event with a prayer. The same format was followed as the previous rallies. Thirty-eight persons attended, and three people were appointed Ambassadors for Peace. The guest of honor was the mayor of the city, Mr. Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, who accepted the appointment as an Ambassador for Peace. He promised to support the work of UPF.