GHANAIAN INDUCTED INTO U.S. INVENTORS' HALL OF FAME
Ghanaians continue to make inroads into America’s inventors hall of fame as Victor B. Lawrence Ph.D, Associate Dean and Batchelor Chair Professor of Stevens Institute of Technology, was adopted into the American National Inventors Hall of Fame at the 44th induction ceremony held last Thursday, May 5, 2016 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC.
In a write up by the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Victor Lawrence was adopted into the Hall for his invention of Signal Processing in Telecommunications.
For Victor Lawrence, the journey leading to the National Inventors Hall of Fame began in his native country Ghana where his rise was powered by hard work and discipline, two values he said, was instilled in him by his mother at a young age.
Victor said he was a young student living just a few meters from the Florida Launching pad when the US space programme was lifting off in the 1960s, and listened via shortwave radio as President John F. Kennedy announced his goal of landing a man on the moon and closely followed news report of John Glenn orbiting the earth.
These events, he said, inspired him to pursue a career in science and engineering as his talent took him to the University of London, in England. On completion of his doctorate in England, he was recruited by Bell Labs to help with the analog to digital conversion of the company’s communication network.
His appointment with Bell Labs brought him to New Jersey, in the United States where over 30 years, his patented work in signal processing resulted in faster and more reliable travel of data over telephone lines, improving transmission for the modern Internet.
Victor also developed methods of including more information in a signal, facilitating the introduction of digital video and radio and the development of high-definition and digital television. Speaking of his legacy, Victor said it’s not the technical achievements from his past but rather the ways he continue to use his skills to work with others to improve humanity.
Victor is particularly proud of his leadership role in providing Internet connectivity to Africa and his role in imparting knowledge to students, encouraging them to begin their own creative journey. “You have to stand on somebody’s shoulder before you can see far. And so, it’s very important that I have a strong shoulder for others to stand on, so they can see far and they can do greater things”. Victor Lawrence said.
His Excellency, Lt. Gen. Joseph Henry Smith, Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America was at the ceremony to congratulate Victor Lawrence on his achievement. Also at the ceremony was Ghana’s former Ambassador to China, Mrs Mameley Coffie, Mr. Quarshie-Idun, a prominent Ghanaian Lawyer, family members and friends of Victor Lawrence.
SPEECH BY H.E. JOHANNA ODONKOR SVANIKIER
ON THE OCCASION OF GHANA'S 59TH INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION, UNESCO, PARIS
Click HERE to watch video of speech by H.E. Ambassador Johanna Odonkor Svanikier SVANIKIER
Excellencies, Distinguished Guest of Honour from the Elysée Palace - Mrs. Hélène Le Gal, Nananum, Niimeh, Naameh, Dear Colleagues, my Brothers and Sisters, Distinguished Ladies, Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, bon soir!
On Sunday 6th March, Ghana will be Independent for 59 years. Just one year short of 60! However in terms of maturity I would say our country is at the YUPPIE stage! - a Young Upwardly Mobile Professional in our twenties! We have passed through the terrible twos, the 'mummy/daddy why?' stage of the early years and the rebellious teenager stage. Passing through these formative stages on the way to maturity both for a person and for a nation is very important!
It has never been a better time to be an African and it has never been a better time to be a Ghanaian! When this century's history is told, this second decade after the millennium will mark the period when the debilitating effects of the slave trade and the period of colonialism that followed, begun to be overcome by the people of Africa.
And what has been the catalyst for Ghana rising - apart from the passing of time? Because of course we know that time is a healer. The catalyst for us has been democratic governance! A consensus by our political elite to conduct the political struggle, our political struggle, not through threats of violence or violence itself but through talking, communication, freedom of expression and clearly defined rules that govern and order the world of politics - what we call the rule of law!
In Ghana, the only difference from the past is how that struggle now occurs. The rule of law permits a non-violent struggle and allows the population to choose its own leaders through free and fair elections. This leads to political stability and the space for further political, economic and social growth and development.
To achieve progress it is important to accept that there there will always be political struggle in human relations. It is the human condition! The fight to save our environment is a political struggle. The fight for education, the fight to educate girls and women are all political struggles. The fight for civil rights and human justice is a political struggle. In Ghana these struggles happen in our parliament, in our courts, in our media and during electoral campaigns. Our commitment to the Constitution of the Fourth Republic means they occur through debate and discourse in these democratic institutions rather than in a violent manner! And for that our leaders make sacrifices every day to play by the rules, restrain themselves from violence and concede defeat even when it is staring them in the face.
The other catalyst in Ghana which has brought about our remarkable progress in political and economic development has been the education of women and girls. It is clearly shown by all indicators that educating women is positively correlated with the accelerated development of a country.
In October last year the President of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, paid a visit to UNESCO to mark it's 70th anniversary. He spoke about his government's support for girls' and women's education and the great strides Ghana has made by becoming one of the most successful nations in the achievement of the millennium development goals in the area of education. Before the end of the designated period, our country achieved free universal basic education and gender parity in primary school. Equal numbers of boys and girls enrol in our primary schools!
UNESCO is a house of Peace. It's main mission, the reason why this organisation exists, is to bring an end to violent conflict amongst states. How does it strive to achieve this? It does it through celebrating the things that we all have in common as fellow human beings and the things that we do differently because of our geographical separation and the different languages and cultures that have developed as a result. It also recognises the critical role education plays in building peace through human development.
UNESCO has made the link between peace and education particularly the education of women and girls. ICT education and mobile learning are the educational currency of the future and by making them available to this most educationally deprived group early, we can reverse the historic trend of girls being disadvantaged, overlooked or underrepresented in education.
The Ghana Permanent Delegation here at UNESCO is developing a project with the UNESCO Information For All Programme to bring ICT education to more girls and women in Ghana. Any support or assistance from other Permanent Delegations, the private sector or NGOs to assist us in achieving this goal would be very much appreciated.
There is no better indication of the development and increased standards of living in a country than when art and culture are thriving. So today we are gathered here to celebrate the joy of music and choral singing, a human activity enjoyed all round the world. The Winneba Youth Choir is one of the most renowned and accomplished choirs in Ghana, known for their versatility and technical excellence and their ability to perform music from around the world. Today their repertoire will illustrate that common love of singing that exists around the world and the different forms it takes.
They processed into this room singing a Ghanaian Gospel Song, Joy Like a River (one of my favourites) and a South African song followed by some French folk songs. They have treated you to a brilliant classical repertoire. The best is now to come with the rhythm and dance of traditional Ghanaian folk songs and a traditional gospel music medley. They are all amateurs many of them still in high school. They survive on patronage, sponsorship and donations. They also survive on sales of their CDs.
I wish to thank Mme Le Gal for her brilliant bilingual speech and for taking time out of her very busy schedule to honour our invitation to be the special guest of honour here today.
I thank the Choirmaster, executive and members of the Winneba Youth Choir. Thank you for your joyful and inspiring performances. I thank you distinguished guests for coming from far and wide to grace this memorable occasion, and finally I thank our sponsors Brussels Airlines, Justmoh and Svani Group for making this event possible through their financial support. Thank you! Merci!
GHANA INVESTMENT PROMOTION CENTRE
GIPC is a government agency, re-established under the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013 (Act 865) to encourage, promote and facilitate investments in all sectors of the Ghanaian economy. The Centre is an agency that supports local and foreign investors in all sectors of the economy as they seek opportunities to engage in the Ghanaian business domain.
The GIPC co-ordinates and monitors all investment activities falling under Act 865 and assists both domestic and foreign investors in:
- Initiating and supporting measures that will enhance the investment climate in Ghana for both Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian companies.
- Initiating, organizing and participating in promotional activities such as exhibitions, conferences and seminars for the stimulation of investments, to present Ghana as an ideal investment destination.
- Collecting, collating, analyzing and disseminating information about investment opportunities and sources of investment capital, and advising on the availability, choice or sustainability of partners in joint-venture project.
- Formulating investment promotion policies and plans, promotional incentives and marketing strategies to attract foreign and local investment in advanced technology industries and skill-intensive services which enjoy good export market prospects.
- Registering, monitoring and keeping records of all enterprises in Ghana.
GIPC’s key areas for investment are:
- Agric and agro-processing
- Oil and Mining Services
- Manufacturing and Industries
- Information Communication Technology
- Financial Services
Operations of the Centre
- Joint venture search
- Identification of specific projects for investment promotion
- Recommendation of investment incentives and provision of investor support services
- Registration of Technology Transfer Agreements
- Negotiation of Bilateral Investment Treaties
- Investment facilitation and aftercare services
- Monitoring & Tracking
Enquiries about investing in Ghana should be directed to GIPC:
WELCOME TO GHANA: EXOTIC WILDLIFE, HISTORIC CASTLES AND A GOLDEN COAST
Upon arrival at Kotoka International airport in Ghana's capital city Accra, you are immediately greeted by a sign that says "Akwaaba," which means "Welcome" -- and this is exactly how you will feel when visiting this beautiful West African country.
A success story of African development, democracy and stability, Ghana is a nation made up of people that are as warm as its climate. Rich in history, culture and natural beauty, it's the perfect introduction to Africa if you are a first-time traveler to the continent, or a great alternative for those who have exhausted the Safari circuit, and crave a different African experience.
There is something for everyone in Ghana, ranging from nature trails and UNESCO World Heritage sites to bustling markets, tranquil beaches and vibrant nightlife.
There are 15 national parks and reserves across the country. A must see is Kakum National Park, in the central region.
The area is covered with stunning tropical rainforest and rare animals, and a long series of hanging bridges known as the Canopy Walkway. Not for the faint hearted, the walkway is located at the forest canopy level, and is secured by a series of nets and wires for safety. The walkway provides tourists with a spectacular vantage point of the beautiful surroundings.
Another great place to visit is Ghana's largest wildlife refuge, Mole National Park. The park is located in northwest Ghana, and the park's entrance is reached through the nearby town of Larabanga.
It is home to over 93 mammal species, with large mammals including elephants, hippos, buffalo, and warthogs. The park is considered a primary African preserve for numerous antelope species; olive baboons, black-and-white colobus monkeys and the green vervet are among the monkey species resident there. Slender-snouted and dwarf crocodiles are among the 33 known species of reptiles that call this breathtaking park home.
The country became a major economic hub with the emergence of the slave trade, and several slave castles erected by the Europeans in 15th century remain standing.
Built by the Portuguese in 1482, Elmina Castle is the oldest remaining slave castle in Africa. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it has become a pilgrimage site, drawing thousands of visitors from around the world -- in particular African-Americans and Caribbean people seeking to connect with their heritage.
The town of Elmina surrounding the castle is a vibrant, robust fishing community with an incredible amount of energy and color.
If you don't want to venture far from the capital, there is a lot to do right in Accra. For beach bums, Labadi beach is perfect for soaking up the African sun, and being entertained while you do it. Drumming, cultural dancing and music can all be seen and heard on holidays and during the weekend.
Tourists can also visit local cultural attractions such as Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, W.E.B Dubois Center or head to the Arts Center, where a multitude of stalls sell crafts from all around the country.
After a day of relaxing at the beach or visiting the cultural sites, visitors can head to the upscale area of Osu, in central Accra, to sample the nightlife. Locally referred to as the "West End," Osu boasts an impressive number of local and international restaurants offering a range of cuisines.
There are also several options for club hoppers and lounge goers. One of the latest additions to nightlife in Accra is Republic Bar and Grill. With indoor and outdoor seating the bar has a retro vibe, and celebrates Ghanaian food, music, culture and art. Republic has a wonderful list of drinks, ranging from cold local beers, to exotic cocktails and herbal teas made with fresh ingredients.
The bar also serves a wonderful menu of finger foods including fried yam/cassava, kelewele (fried plantain seasoned with delicious spices) and chicken wings seasoned with local spices.
If Accra whets your city-touring appetite to then a trip to Kumasi is highly recommended. The five-hour bus ride from Accra is a great way to see more of the country, and the VIP coaches are cheap and comfortable, showing local movies to entertain you.
There is plenty to do upon arrival to Ghana's second-biggest city. Kumasi is home to the bustling Kejetia Market, which has more than 10,000 stores and stalls, and is said to be the biggest in West Africa. Visitors can buy a wide variety of items such as hand-crafted wooden sculptures and masks, paintings, native fabric, spices, handmade jewelry and much more.
Kumasi is also home to the National Cultural Centre, the Menhya Palace and Lake Bosumtri. The lake is the only natural lake in Ghana and the area is peaceful and tranquil. Like Accra, Kumasi also has a vibrant nightlife with restaurants and entertainment to suit all tastes.
When it comes to accomodation, Ghana offers everything from homestays to five-star accommodation. Major international chains include Golden Tulip, Novotel, Best Western and Movenpic. The Marriot, Sheraton and Hilton Hotels are set to open later in 2013.
MAWUENA TREBARH, CEO OF GIPC
Mrs. Mawuena Trebarh has over 15 years experience with a stellar career in the corporate environment in Ghana. She has been recognized through a number of national awards for having established benchmarks for excellence in corporate affairs, investor relations management, stakeholder and reputation management in critical sectors of the economy specifically mining and telecommunications. Mawuena holds a B.Sc. in Geology & Mining from the University of Jos, Nigeria and an MBA in Strategic Planning and New Business from Bentley College's McCallum Graduate School of Business, in Massachusetts, USA.
Mawuena worked with Ashanti Goldfields Company Ltd, Ghana in varying capacities. She was their first female underground exploration geologist amidst a 10,000 strong male-workforce mine-site in the Ashanti Region. She was then invited to the Resource Evaluation Department, where she assisted in the generation of three-dimensional computer models of gold deposits in Ghana, Guinea, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso. Just prior to pursuing her Master's degree, Mawuena was Ashanti's Investor Relations Officer. In 2003 she became responsible for communications for Newmont's first mine projects in Africa in the West African nation of Ghana managing key aspects of the project with a total investment of over USD $1 billion USD.
2007 – 2012 saw Mawuena take on the role at Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) in Ghana as the Corporate Services Executive. She had oversight responsibility for corporate communications, government and regulatory relations, the MTN Ghana Foundation, legal and company secretarial duties covering all aspects of reputation management as corporate spokesperson for the company. Again the investments of MTN that she supported to generate goodwill and success of the brand are estimated at well over $USD 1 billion USD.
In late 2012, Mawuena became Founder and Chief Business Strategist of Inspire Africa Consult Ltd a business strategy-consulting firm. In February 2013 she was appointed by H.E. President John Mahama as the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre reporting directly into the Office of the President.
Mrs. Trebarh has been recognized both nationally and internationally for excellence in reputation management. She is a recipient of a national award for commitment to youth development.