First local Danida Alumni Network in Ghana

Executive Council of Danida Ghana Network

Over the years, Ghana and Denmark’s relationship and collaboration has taken different forms. The latest addition is Danida Ghana Alumni Network. It’s a renewed relationship between the two countries, writes Chairperson Enoch Yeboah Agyepong

Dear You / Kære du – Danida Alumni, all Danes, all Ghanaians and people around the world, Hvordan har I det i dag? I greet you with warmth and love from Ghana!

Did you know that:

  • there is Christiansborg Castle in Accra, Ghana?
  • the first contacts between Danes and people on the Gold Coast (Ghana’s former name) were established in the middle of the 17th century?
  • the business environment in Ghana is very conducive particularly with both countries ratifying a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) which came into force on 1 January 2016?
  • the people of Ghana are warm, like to cycle (in the North especially) and are generally happy?
  • you can know and do more through the newly established Danida Alumni Network?

Let me tell you more…

Yes - in a period in history, the Danes built among other things the Christiansborg Castle. This part of the history came to a close in 1850, when Denmark sold her holdings to England. Read more

Image of Christiansborg Castle in Accra, Ghana, source Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Christiansborg Castle, Accra. Source Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs

From Aid–to–trade
Over the years, Ghana and Denmark’s cooperation has taken different forms. Today, we are witnessing enhanced commercial cooperation of utmost importance. In my opinion, responsibility, collaboration and innovation are three key words that describe how adaptive both sovereign states need to be as a way forward – moving from ‘Aid–to–trade’ as generally themed!

Alumni – renewed relationship
It is therefore with much joy and gladness that I welcome Danida Alumni Network. It’s a renewed relationship and evidence to the need to sustain results and impact from interventions as required by all actors. The network is indeed the realization of a dream and vision shared by many people around the world, who have had quality education and been engaged in knowledge sharing and cultural meetings in Denmark.  

Since 2000, 212 Ghanians have been registred in Danida Fellowship Centre’s database. They have either been awarded a Danida Fellowship at Master's and PhD level, or completed a qualifying course for professionals at Danish institutions of higher and further learning. 88 of them are women, 134 men. While most of the Ghanaian women took their degree at Master's level, the majority of the men graduated with a PhD. Among the 212 former Danida fellows 100 are researchers and PhD students.  71 have a Master's degree in International Health.

The ties between Ghana and Denmark
Danish researchers are frequently doing research in Ghana, and many leading Ghanaian researchers have received their training in Denmark. The interest in visiting each other is ever growing; high-level visits, business visits, family visits, and visits with a cultural purpose keep our visa section very busy and is an indication of the ties among the people of our two countries, Ms. Tove Degnbol, said in her welcome statement when she was appointed as Danish Ambassador to Ghana.

This is very true of the continued relationship and the need to further advance such cooperation.

Danida Ghana Alumni Network - a pilot project
In Ghana we are setting up a Danida Ghana Alumni Network. It is a pilot project. Based on the experiences a concept for sustainable networks to be replicated in order countries are expected. The following are the members of the Executive Council of Danida Ghana Alumni Network . They were elected on 27th January 2016 at the Inception Meeting:

Mr Enoch Yeboah Agyepong, Sustainable MBA, Chair
Ms Margaret Owusu, PhD, Vice Chair
Mr Ernest Cudjoe Opoku, PhD, Secretary
Mr John Ekow Otoo, Master, International Health, Organiser
Ms Lydia Otoo, MSc, Environmental Engineering,Treasurer

These persons – who are truly representing the diverse study areas of the Ghanaian alumni – are serving on a voluntarily basis. Be assured that the Danida Ghana Alumni Network is transparent, seeks collective ownership and focuses on results and evidence-based impact utilizing best practices and global engagement with all stakeholders.

Business and education engagements
Preliminary engagement with the Danish Business Community started at the invitation of The Danish Trade Council Link to the first 2016 Business Get-together event held on 4th February 2016.

The Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Ms. Tove Degnbol recognized the importance of the Danida Ghana Alumni network and introduced the Executive Council to all gathered.  Since then, there have been positive feedback and appreciation of the Danida Alumini Network by the business community and the Building Stronger Universities initiative.

Spread the word
As Chair of Danida Ghana Alumni Network I am tasked to provide overall leadership and accountability. I count on your invaluable support and counsel as we serve together for the greater good and mutual benefits of both Ghana and Denmark.

I encourage you to spread the word! And get in touch too. Facebook and LinkedIn

Mange tak to our partners; you - Danida Fellowship Centre and the Danish Embassy in Ghana for initiating Danida Ghana Alumni Network. Vi ses snart i Ghana eller Danmark eller rundt om i verden.

Med venlig hilsen – With pleasure and sincerity,

Enoch Yeboah Agyepong Chair, Danida Ghana Alumni 
Email: | Mobile: +233(0)244.981.590  | Skype: enoch-ya

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