Denmark's Ambassador hosts third AGM of Danida Alumni Network Ghana
Danida Alumni Network - Ghana (DAN-G) was officially launched in 2016, with support from the Ambassador, as one of the first local alumni networks within the wider Danida Alumni family. Three years on, the local alumni network has grown and the first Board Members are ready to hand over the baton to a new leadership group. Board elections, along with an encouraging speech from Ambassador Tove Degnbol, were some of the highlights of the network’s Annual General Meeting in Accra last month.
By Nina Vlemmings
“When Danida Fellowship Centre started talking about the prospects of forming an alumni network, my department immediately supported the idea, and before I went to Ghana as the new ambassador in the summer of 2015, I committed to help establishing the first pilot alumni in Ghana,” said Ambassador Tove Degnbol in her speech at the Annual General Meeting of DAN-G, held on Saturday 30 November 2019 at her residence. Tove Degnbol continued, “So many people from Ghana, associated with our development and research activities, have gone to Denmark for training at DFC-run courses. This provides ideal conditions for having a vibrant alumni network in Ghana”.
The current DAN-G Board, chaired by Mr Enoch Yeboah Agyepong, has invested considerable efforts in growing, coordinating and stimulating the local alumni community. Danida Fellowship Centre has been grateful for the exciting initiatives, wonderful stories and great communication led by this group and their fellow Danida alumni. In accordance with the Danida Alumni Network’s democratic values and the DAN-G’s statutes, last month’s AGM called for board elections to be held.
We are delighted to share that DAN-G members have elected the following Danida alumni to represent them on their next Board:
- Dr John Ekow Otoo, Chairperson
- Dr Gifty Sunkwa-Mills, Vice-Chairperson
- Ms Elikplim Dzikunoo, Secretary
- Ms Lydia Otoo, Treasurer
- Dr Collins Prah Duodu, Organising Secretary
When these alumni officially take over the helm for a 2-year tenure in the New Year at a handing over and induction ceremony, it will mark a new phase of DAN-G’s development, which has quickly moved from being a nascent alumni community to a growing and vibrant network. This is happening at a time when Denmark’s cooperation with Ghana is also changing. Given the country’s middle-income status, Ghana is transitioning from being a recipient of Danish traditional development cooperation to partnering with Denmark under a different set of instruments and activities, which includes the Strategic Sector Cooperation Programme.
On this point, the Ambassador underlined that although the changing nature of Denmark’s partnership with Ghana would lead to a combination of new staff, priorities and operational modalities of the Danish Embassy, the size of the local team and their level of activity would by no means shrink.
Following on from this, Ambassador Degnbol also underlined her belief in the potential of the alumni network, citing concrete examples of alumni members’ expertise and initiatives as well as Denmark’s wider priorities in Ghana, as some of the areas in which the network could add considerable value. More generally, she also added, “In addition to your cultural understanding, you have a technical background which will often be interesting for the Danish companies, Danish authorities and NGOs, and you have extensive networks and access to decision makers – sometimes you are decision makers yourselves”. You can read the Ambassador's full speech from the event here.
In line with the objective of connecting professionals, companies and academics, the third DAN-G AGM was glad to have representation from others, including the Mandela Washington Fellows Association of Ghana (MWFAG) of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) and Ghana Design Network of the Ghana Netherlands Business and Culture Council (GNBCC).
Thank you, on behalf of Danida Fellowship Centre, to the outgoing DAN-G Board and Chairperson for your great work, and congratulations to both the newly and re-elected board members. We are grateful for your commitment to the Danida alumni family and very much look forward to working with, and supporting you, in your continued pursuit of developing an inclusive, democratic and active DAN-G in the years to come.
You can learn more about the inspiring work of the incoming DAN-G Board Members Dr John Ekow Otoo and Dr Gifty Sunkwa-Mills in fighting the Ebola epidemic in West Africa here.