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Black, African, and Living Abroad: The Dichotomy of Race and Ethnicity

Imagine having to start a whole new life on the other side of the world. Well, that was me, when I had to leave the States—a place I had called home for the past 16 years—and head to Jakarta to continue my teaching career. While filled with some trepidation, as I left my family and friends, I saw this as an adventure, looking forward to what this new chapter of life would entail. I say looking forward to it because as someone who was born in Ghana, but lived, grew up, and attended school in three different countries (Botswana, South Africa, and the United States), I saw this as yet another international experience I could embrace. Little did I know what I would be getting into.

Once the novelty wore off, I became painfully aware of the way people reacted whenever I stepped outside of my apartment building, as I quickly learned how “being the center of attention” could have a negative connotation. The stares, finger pointing, laughing, and double looks (sometimes more) became something that I encountered day in and day out. As a black person, while I had encountered some negative interactions due to the color of my skin, nothing had been as intense as this experience.

Here in Indonesia, I have learned what it means to be both black and African (I say African because here, as in America, there’s not much differentiation). Colorism is most definitely in play here, as the darker your skin color, the more you are treated differently. There is a great preference for lighter/fairer-skinned people, with skin whitening/bleaching creams littered around stores, all in plain view. Lighter/fairer-skinned people are seen in commercials, on T.V., on billboards, etc.

However, one irony I have found is that even the darker-skinned Indonesians point, stare, and laugh. It’s not only confusing, but disappointing as well, because I would think that because we are both more or less in the same boat, we would be able to connect and even commiserate with each other. I suppose it’s that whole idea of the oppressed becoming the oppressor, in a bid to distance themselves, and hopefully, one day, find themselves being accepted as well. Thus, the idea is “while I may have it bad, at least I don’t have it as bad you do.” And so, the cycle continues.

In addition to colorism, there is the stigma associated with the continent of Africa. My African background puts me at a further disadvantage than my African American counterparts, in that while they are black and may encounter the same reactions/treatment I do, there is often a change in attitude/demeanor once people find out they’re American. The American passport still has a lot of sway in many parts of the world.

About three weeks ago, I went out to eat with a friend, and it turned out that there was a live band playing. My friend and I found ourselves so taken in by their performance (boisterously singing aloud) that once they were done, they came over to say hello. They asked where we were from, and my friend stated America (meaning himself). They immediately became so enamored with his answer, pointing out how pleased they were to have an American present, listening to their songs, that I made the choice not to say where I was from. I know that it wasn’t right, but at the same time, I did so because I didn’t want to see a change in their overall attitude.

I was enjoying their admiration, not to mention the anonymity—an anonymity that is often nonexistent due to the misconceptions many have about people from Africa. The perception of Africans, in most countries located in Southeast Asia, is that we are drug dealers or prostitutes, who are often “poor and uneducated.” The following passage from a recent AP [Associated Press] article I read regarding Africans living in India perfectly sums up the experiences of Africans due to misguided stereotypes: “But the worst kind of discrimination is reserved for the Africans. In a country obsessed with fair skin and skin lightening beauty treatments, their dark skin draws a mixture of fear and ridicule.”

I’ve seen some examples of this “mixture of fear and ridicule.” One of my students (originally from China) wrote me a note for Teacher’s Day telling me how initially she was scared of me, as she had never met/seen a black person before. To have people come up to my face, just so they can get a better look, takes its toll. And as one of your readers shared, all of this slowly chips away at you.

So, while having to deal with being in another country (getting used to the culture), I find myself trying to navigate through this as well. And unlike some, I struggle to see the silver lining in all this. Each time I venture out, I find myself on edge, constantly on the lookout for the stares, the laughing, etc., that I know will inevitably come. I get myself so worked up that sometimes when it doesn’t happen the way I thought it would, I find myself completely taken aback.

I also find myself questioning words and actions that others may construe as innocent. For example, while riding in a cab, the driver began chatting with me in his broken English, and I attempted to respond in my very limited Bahasa- Indonesia. When we found ourselves stuck in Jakarta’s never-ending traffic, he indicated that he wanted to take my picture. My guard immediately went up, and I vehemently refused his request, time and time again. At one point he asked why, and I explained to him (now having resorted to Google translate) my experiences.

He then stated that the reason why people stare is because “black is sexy.” I will admit, I laughed, as this was not a response I was expecting. However, as he continued to go on about it, I began to wonder, was he saying that because I was African? Was he associating black with being sexy because of the fallacy of “Africans being prostitutes”? Or was he merely subscribing to the delusional fantasy of the dark-skinned woman? You know, the whole “the darker the berry . . .”

As I sit here typing this, I keep telling myself that it was probably harmless fun, but there’s still a nagging part of me that thinks otherwise. This is me now; this continuous questioning, second guessing, has become second nature to me.

Before I end this with you thinking that being in Indonesia has been entirely “me against the world,” I must add that I do have friends here—a number of locals that I’ve connected with at my school. I share my experiences with them, and they have certainly helped me to see why people say Indonesians are so friendly. They have been true lifesavers, as they have given me positive experiences to help counter most of the negative ones. And while I am pleased that as a professional dark-skinned African, I have helped to increase other’s exposure to not only black people, but to Africans as well by challenging the stereotypes, a part of me worries that I am not really changing their perceptions all that much.

I say this because even for those who see me day in and day out, they continue to stare and sometimes laugh. This is definitely a different experience for me—an ongoing process that will hopefully prove to be benefit rather than a drawback during my last few months here.

By Akosua Frimpong

 

‘Women of Ghana’ Photography exhibition

Black History Month is upon us again and there’s a free photography and film exhibition showing the stories of a selection of strong and inspirational women, mostly from the Northern Region of Ghana by photographer Anisha Patel. This exhibition has previously been shown in Hoxton, Goldsmiths University and even in the Houses of Parliament! So now is a great opportunity to come and see this special event at The Albany in honour of Black History Month.

Patel will be giving a special talk where she will discuss the photographs and the women she met. She had the privilege to meet these women whilst volunteering with the UK Government funded International Service and International Citizen Service Programme in Ghana. The women featured have taken control over their lives and worked hard to achieve their ambitions, overcoming hardships such as poverty, low levels of literacy or just simply being a woman.

The exhibition will be open at The Albany from Monday 23 October until Thursday 26 October. Tickets are free and available here.

To learn more about some of the women featured, please visit: womenofghana.wordpress.

7 Africans feature on the BBC 100 Women list 2017

The BBC has revealed some of the inspirational individuals who have been chosen for inclusion on the BBC 100 Women list 2017. This year, out of the sixty women listed, seven are African

Taken from across all spheres of modern life – from engineering to the creative industries, from sport to business – they represent the global wealth of female talent. But in a new twist the list launched is only part of the story.  

The list has been inspired by the BBC 100 Women Challenge. New for 2017 this is a unique celebration of female talent which sees four teams of women tasked with finding solutions to everyday problems currently blighting female lives across the globe. From October 2nd – 6th women based in Silicon Valley will tackle the glass ceiling; from October 9th -13th the Delhi team are looking at female illiteracy; from October 16th -20th safety on public transport will be the focus for the  London and Nairobi team; and finally from October 23rd -27th women in Rio will consider sexism in sport.

Today 60 women who are working or campaigning in these fields or who have inspired others through their actions are being celebrated.

These include:

  • Astronaut Peggy Whitson (57) –  Having made three trips to the International Space Station, Peggy has spent more time in space than any other United States astronaut.
  • President of Chile Michelle Bachelet (65) – The first female to hold office in the history of her country.
  • President of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (78) – the 24th and current President of Liberia since 2006 and the first elected female head of state in Africa.
  • Dancer, TV star and business owner Jin Xing (50) – Known as China’s answer to Oprah Winfrey, Jin Xing was the first transgender woman in China to receive government approval for gender reassignment.
  • Footballer Steph Houghton (29) – Captain of Manchester City FC and the England women’s football team.
  • Acid attack survivor Resham Khan (21) – UK student blogging about her recovery
  • Harvard social psychologist and bestselling author Amy Cuddy (45) – known for her research on body language. She delivered the second most-viewed TED talk of all time.
  • Politician and entrepreneur Susi Pudjiastuti (52) – A successful entrepreneur, Susi is also Indonesia’s Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.
  • UK activist Liz Kelly (65) – active in the field of violence against women and children for 40 years, professor of sexualised violence at London Metropolitan University, where she is also director of the Child and Woman Abuse Studies Unit.
  • Education entrepreneur Anne-Marie Imafidon (28)  – CEO & ‘Head Stemette’ at Stemettes seeking to inspire the next generation of women to go into science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Canadian teacher Maggie MacDonnell (37) – winner of the US $1million Global Teacher Prize 2017.
  • Singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage (37) – integral member of the Afrobeats scene and Nigerian philanthropist.
  • Broadcaster and activist Adelle Onyango (28) – Kenyan radio and television host seeking to empower young women through mentorship and apprenticeship programmes.
  • Author and poet Rupi Kaur (24) Canadian-Indian author and illustrator writes on themes including love, loss, trauma, healing and femininity.
  • Cricketer Mithali Raj (34) – Captain of Indian Women’s Cricket Team
  • Disability Rights Activist Virali Modi (25) – campaigning to make railways more accessible to disabled women in India.

Comedian, model and disability rights campaigner Nawaal Akram (18) – founder of Muscular Dystrophy Middle East, and promotes rights for women with disabilities in the Middle East.

The remaining 40 places will then be decided as the challenge progresses, drawn from those who have supported, inspired and helped the teams on the ground over the course of the weeks. They might be someone working on a solution on the other side of the world; the woman who suggested the piece of code; the woman who named the campaign; or the woman who, by courageously sharing her story, inspired the solution.

The list of 60 women can be viewed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-41380265.The complete list will then be revealed after the final challenge at the end of October.

As audience participation is a cornerstone of the challenge, there is opportunity for other inspiring women to be included. The teams will want to hear directly from women affected by the issues they are tackling and find out what solutions may have already been tried. Viewers and listeners will be able to get involved in via social media with @BBC100Women and #100Women, online at www.bbc.com/100women .

The Future of Ghana 2017 Publication Released!

Friday 22 September 2017 saw the long-awaited release of the 2017 Future of Ghana publication. The no.1 online publication for young Ghanaian professionals is back with its third edition packed full with some of the most relevant content for our generation.

Take a look inside and meet the precocious Fencing talent that is UK based Yasmine Fosu fighting for Ghana a level playing field. You will also find intimate exclusive interviews from contemporary self-taught artist Sarah Owusu and the founder of Vitae London, William Adoasi.

Learn how our German Association Branch Future of Ghana Germany is taking our mission to the people of Germany, plus full profiles of the entire Future of Ghana top 30 U30 for 2017. Additional articles in line with Ghana’s 60th year of independence include; a look at how we can preserve our history in the digital age and a candid assessment of Kwame Nkrumah’s impact in Ghana.

This is essential reading for the last quarter of the year!

Following the release Top 30 U30 list back in March, we revealed a diverse range of talent, pioneers and changemakers from Ghana and the diaspora. There was strong representation from countries in the diaspora such as the UK, Canada, and the USA. This year’s Top 30 list also saw an even split between genders for the first time ever.

Among the pioneers included were Koby “Posty” Hagan founder of UK Urban Entertainment platform GRM Daily , Ghana based digital entrepreneur and founder of the Circumspecte platform Jemila Abdulai,  Ghanaian Media Influencer and Radio/TV Personality Antoine Mensah and  of course rising fencing star Yasmine Fosu to name but a few, whom you can all read about in this publication.

The Third edition of the publication will transcend stereotypes, highlighting the unsung contributions of future leaders to Ghana’s development driving the conversation around Ghana’s future development in this diamond jubilee year of Independence.

Me Firi Ghana annually produce the Future of Ghana publication which celebrates excellence by recognising the Top 30 under 30 talent of Ghanaian decent, pioneering in industries around the world. The publication also features forward thinking articles highlighting key industries, innovators and organizations visions for Ghana and Africa.

The Publication is the beginning and one that we hope will act as a catalyst to encourage greater youth participation with the development of Ghana whilst also act as a visual source of inspiration for the emerging generation and a talent resource for investors and organizations.

E.L performs for Studio 189 at New York Fashion Week

After hitting the first show off his E.L Live Tour in Minnesota, rapper E.L flew over to New York for the city’s Fashion Week.

The Best African Rapper (B.A.R) thrilled some super models in the middle of the presentation. Studio 189 surprised attendees with a full-blown concert, which got everybody dancing to the rhythm of E.L’s Afrobeat music. Even Dawson joined in, busting some moves with Paula Abdul.

The models then featured the line by standing in groups, while talking and dancing with one another. The participants included people of all ages, ethnicities and colors. ”It’s all about inclusiveness”, Erwiah said at the beginning of the event.

Actress, Rosario Dawson also debuted her latest Studio 189 collection at the Fashion Week with a special touch. Upon entering the event held at Metropolitan West, the invitees found that there were no traditional seats – stones replaced seats! – and staff members roamed around, sampling pieces from the collection. Dawson began the show by asking for a moment of silence to remember those affected by the attacks on 9/11. She followed in with a video about Studio 189’s social justice work and the impact it’s having in Africa.

The clothing stayed true to an African aesthetic with bright colors, light fabrics, and native prints.

E.L who is already working on his new album indeed set the place ablaze with his Afrobeat songs. The ‘Koko’ hitmaker is currently on tour in the states to promote his upcoming album ”WAVs” (West African Vibes) which is due for release later this year.

BBC News broadcasts a week of special programming on Africa’s rising population

BBC News have announced a week-long series exploring the steep incline in Africa’s population and the continent’s coping mechanisms.

The population of Africa is predicted to double to two and a half billion in just 30 years. On a continent where nearly two thirds of people are already under 25, this vast new baby boom has the potential to provide a huge pool of workers ready to transform African economies, or the potential to create an even greater migration problem.

BBC Africa Correspondent, Alastair Leithead, has been investigating the potential of this “demographic dividend” in a series of special reports from across Africa.

For a week, beginning Monday 21st AugustBBC World News and BBC World Service will broadcast daily features within Focus on Africa, looking at matters such as the rapid urbanisation in Nigeria, the industrial revolution in Ethiopia, contraception in Niger and food sustainability in Kenya.

From Monday, more information can also be found on bbc.com/africapopulation, including a written in-depth analysis, a series of short videos and additional features.

A special documentary, Africa’s Population Explosion, will also broadcast on BBC World News(DStv 400) at 2330 GMT on Friday 25th August and 1130 & 1630 GMT on Saturday 26th August.

 

5 SECRETS ABOUT GHANA JOLLOF THAT NIGERIANS DON’T KNOW : By Chef Elijah A. Addo

Future of Ghana Alumni Chef Elijah A. Addo recently revealed 5 “secrets” about Jollof…here they are:

1. Ghana Jollof is made with love : Ghanaians prepare their jollof with ingredients and spices drawn from the streams of love and that reflects in the aroma and taste of our jollof,days after it is cooked.

2. Ghana Jollof is the “Aliko Dangote” of African foods : In as much as jollof originally originated from SenegalGambian empire of Jolof, Ghanaians took the prototype and built upon it to become what the world knows it. Ghana jollof is entrepreneurial.

3.Ghana jollof is scalable : The tricks of preparing different versions of Ghanaian jollof makes it easy to be prepared from any part of the world. Nigeria jollof is a one way method making it difficult to be prepared in regions like China, Russia, North Korea, London,etc.

4. Ghana Jollof is a balanced diet recommended to fight child malnutrition across the continent. Nigerians must come to Ghana to learn how we are using Jollof to overcome hunger and malnutrition. Former President Rawlings donated jollof to our Somalian brothers.

5. Ghana Jollof is celebrated as festival : Ghana Tourism Authority celebrates a National jollof festival because our jollof has balls.Ghana jollof is eaten with confidence across the globe due to it’s high nutritional content. You don’t have leftover for our jollof. Ghana jollof is bae.

NB: This article is satirical piece by Chef Elijah A. Addo, 2017 Queens Young Leader and founder of Food for All Africa in recognition of the Ghana Jollof Festival scheduled for 26th August, 2017 is being organised to promote Ghanaian cuisine, and is in connection with the “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana campaign initiated by the Ghana Tourism Authority.

British Council, Ghana announces August 30-31 ‘Social Thursday’ event

The British Council has announced the first of its Social Thursday event series slated to take place at the British Council in Accra, Ghana, on Wednesday, 30thAugust to Thursday 31st August 2017, from 10am to 8pm each day. This event is hosted in partnership with TEDx Accra and SE Ghana.

The goal of this event is to assist social entrepreneurs with the needed skill sets to create impact and profit in their businesses. Social entrepreneurs will get the opportunity to explore solutions to the challenges faced in generating profit and impact in their businesses. The event will also present an avenue for the general public to attend a TEDx-styled talk on the theme, “IMPACT AND PROFIT’’. The talk is expected to uncover how to effectively deliver, measure and communicate impact as well as improve profit margin as a social enterprise.

This year, the British Council is giving social entrepreneurs the chance to exhibit their products and services on both days. There will also be an opportunity to participate in a business pitch competition coupled with mentoring sessions from business experts.
Attendance is free. Visit the British Council Ghana website to register or follow us on twitter @ghBritish via the hashtag #SocialThursday, and on Facebook

For those who want to pitch 
Are you a social entrepreneur and ready to pitch your idea to a group of investors for advice, funding and skills development from the British council’s skills hub during the social Thursday? Then register here. Sign up now for limited slots.

For Exhibitors
From Wednesday, 30th August 2017 to Thursday, 31st August 2017, we are creating space for 20 social entrepreneurs to exhibit their businesses (Products and Services) at the Social Thursday Event for FREE. Register here.

Contact Marilyn Adutwum on +233302610090 or Marilyn.Adutwum@gh.britishcouncil.org for more information.
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Ghana Diaspora HomeComing Summit 2017 – Day 3 Round Up

Here’s a round of what took place on day 3 of the Ghana Diaspora Homecoming Summit:

  • Friday was the culmination of 3 days of #GDHS17 with the theme of political inclusion for all Ghanaians at home and abroad. We had speakers such as Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Otiko Afisa Djaba & Prof. Kwaku Asare. Issues addressed included the contention around dual citizenship, the need for a dual citizenship card and what the Ghanaian constitution states. Day 3 also included representation from 2nd generation Ghanaians sharing their perspectives, experiences and advice for other 2nd generation Ghanaians eager to engage with Ghana. It also included speakers from the wider Ghanaian and African diaspora including African Americans, Nigerians and Senegalese speakers. Followed by a closing and fashion show organised by the Ministry of Gender and Social Protection.
  • After a welcome address by Jermaine Nkrumah, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway  took the stage and addressed the issues and challenges faced by Ghanaians abroad with regards to passports, fees, other consular services and customer service in Embassies in their respective nations. Training and accountability was emphasised and the Hon. Minister pledged her commitment to changing this.
  • Hon. Otiko Afisa Djaba followed with a impassioned call for all stakeholders, men and women to drive equity and gender equality in all spheres in Ghana. Hon. Djaba praised Ghanaian women in the diaspora as well as home for their innovate leadership and contributions to women in Ghana through remittances, business, housing and through numerous other channels. Whilst the Hon. Minister acknowledged great progress in terms of female participation in politics she stressed that we still have a long way to go but expressed confidence that equity can and will happen soon if we all work together towards that goal.
  • Next up was an inspiring panel of 3 2nd generation panellists – Danielli Ofori Atta, Founder & CEO of Mhoseenu (Creative Consultants), Arnold Sarfo-Kantanka, MD of Me Firi Ghana and Chair of Future of Ghana & Michael Bediako – Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance. Danielli began by sharing her desire to come back to Ghana after finishing her law degree at the University of Manchester because she wanted to change to world. She then went on to outline Mhoseenu’s mission and their 6 key principles which also served as advice for those interested in how to manage relocating to Ghana. They are:
  1. Innovation
  2. Quality control
  3. Accessibility
  4. Reliability
  5. Consistency
  6. Community
  • She called on second generation Ghanaians to be part of the #NewGhana – a lifestyle, a way of thinking, a movement.
  • Arnold discussed the ways in which second generation Ghanaians abroad can integrate into Ghanaian society, business and politics. He spoke of the vision of Me Firi Ghana and Future of Ghana – a 1st world self-sustaining Ghana, the What About Me (WAM) Campaign where 2nd generation Ghanaian volunteers from across Europe (?) volunteered over 1100 hours in Ghana and how the youth can be engaged in Ghana. He went on to discuss research in progress by FOG which showed that only 1.6% of respondents are interested in remittances and the importance of bringing evidence and data to the fore. He called for us to actively engage each other and work together to make Ghana what we know it can be.
  • Michael gave a very frank discussion about the realities of and surviving in Ghana. He told us all that in order to live in Ghana we have to embrace Ghana in its entirety not only the nicer parts of town. He also called on our duty to contribute to something bigger than ourselves and to build strong networks to help us settle in and facilitate the change we desire to see.
  • Prof. Kwaku Asare gave a highly engaging talk on plural citizenships, the ins and outs of nationality vs. citizenship, what the Ghanaian constitution says and the 27 forbidden fruits (the 27 roles and positions non-citizens of Ghana cannot assume). Key messages from his session include that the idea is plural citizenship is not unique to diasporans only but also to Ghanaians in Ghana and nationals of our bordering countries. He distinguished. Etse will nationality and citizenship, the former representing cultural parameters and the latter legal ones. He also stressed that if one has a Ghana and a UK/US passport (for example), a dual citizenship card is not required by law and no one has the right to ask for one. He highlighted the paradoxes of dual citizenship and how Ghanaians are often excluded unfairly.
  • Jermaine Nkrumah introduced us to the GDHS Summit Poll results and the ways in which registered delegates wished to engage beyond the summit (See tweets for pics). This informed the creation of the Diaspora Mobilisation Drive slated to eventually become an independent agency aimed at fulfilling the mandate and policies relating to the diaspora in collaboration with the government. (see tweets for pics of the structure).
  • The remaining speakers from the Nigerian, Senegalese and the African American diaspora shared their experiences and sentiments towards a cohesive global diaspora movement for the benefit of Ghana and Africa as a whole.

Questions of the day:

  • Does Ghana have the capacity to support a female president one day?
  • Why can we not increase the term of a Ghanaian passport from 5 years to 10 years?
  • Will African Americans ever be considered as diasporans to come back home?
  • If you’re an American citizen & you want your American born children to have dual citizenship, how do we do it?
  • There’s a lot of talent in Ghana but also a lot of reproduction. How is the government addressing this?
  • We don’t discuss the failures and downsides of those who have moved backed and left again. What about them?
  • How can we tackle the negative reactions sometimes from our parents who do not want us to move back?
  • A lot of want us as 2nd Gen want to actually work in Ghana how do we do so without a network?
  • What are the mental, psychological and other barriers faced when moving back to Ghana?
  • What can the government do to engage those who do not want to return?
  • What are we doing to stop sexual harassment in the workplace in Ghana?
  • Do my children have to continue to pay expensive visa fees to visit Ghana?
  • Why can we not increase the term of a Ghanaian passport from 5 years to 10 years?
  • Why do passport and other consular fees vary so much from country to country in Europe (Netherlands vs. Germany)?
  • Is there an easier way for Ghanaians abroad to register online esp. when missions are far away? (Eg in Scandinavia)
  • Is there an input from government on the prices Ghanaian goods are sold for abroad?
  • If we have free education why are so many of our girls on the street? In Abidjan for example we don’t see this.
  • We’ve heard about why to move back but what about the how? How do we connect?

MAIDIE ARKUTU IS THE GUBA 2017 FEMALE INFLUENTIAL LEADER

Maidie Arkutu, the Vice President of Unilever Francophone Africa, will receive the honour of being the recipient of the 2017 GUBA Black Star Award for Female Influential Leader, at the 2017 GUBA Awards. The awards is scheduled to take place on Saturday the 3rd of June 2017 at the Intercontinental Hotel, o2, London.

In its sixth year, The GUBA Awards seeks to celebrate the consistency, dedication to excellence and longstanding contributions to society with the GUBA Black Star Awards. The Female Influential Leader Award recognises the actions of individuals with progressive influence on women in business. It also shines a light on those who use their exceptional style in providing direction, implementing plans and motivating to affect the development and behaviour of others and to assist them to succeed.

Miss Arkutu is a multi-skilled professional marketer with an extensive business portfolio and monumental leadership experience to hand. She has a postgraduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, as well as a MBA from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and a BA in Business Economics from Vesalius College, Belgium.

Her ascent to the VP role at Unilever Francophone Africa was preceded by a successful three-year stint as Managing Director of Unilever Ghana. Before that MD role, she was the Marketing Director for Unilever West Africa, having joined the Unilver brand from Coca-Cola East and Central Africa Business Unit (ECABU) where she was the Marketing Manager for the Horn, Islands and Mid Africa sector (HIMA).

A born leader with significant influence, Maidie Arkutu has held various executive and non-executive board memberships at places such as Barclays Bank Ghana, and the African Business Centre for Developing Education, as well as the Lady Chairship/Executive Board Membership of the Executive Women Network (EWN).

The GUBA Black Star Award 2017 for Female Influential Leader will add to an already impressive collection of accolades received by Miss Arkutu, including the prestigious Marketing Woman of the Year 2015 (Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana) and Outstanding Manufacturing Executive, Personal Products 2016 (Feminine Ghana Achievement Awards).

This accolade is a result of her work in inspiring, supporting and empowering women executives to be internationally successful in the business world. The GUBA Awards 2017 is set to be a monumental event, tickets are available for purchase at www.gubaawards.co.uk/ticket/

GUBA 2017 SPONSORS – Title Sponsor: ECOM Ghana. Category Sponsors: uniBank Ghana, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Imperial Homes, ABN TV and Radio. CEO Dinner Sponsor: PayAngel.

Media Partners: ROK TV, VOX Africa TV, Starr Radio UK, Hot Digital Online FM, Rising Africa, Afropulp Magazine, The Voice Newspaper, Glam Africa, ABN TV and Radio, GHOne TV, Starr FM, OK FM, Peace FM, Adom TV, UTV, Hot Digital Online FM, Ahomka FM, FAB Photography, AKLASS photography, SWAG of Africa, Screen Nation, Inspirational You,

Partners: Final Effects Studios, NAS Studios, Anita Erskine Media, Precise Marketing, E-Volution International, Plant It Events and MakeUp Ghana. Material Sponsors: Vlisco, Kente Queen. Outfit sponsors: A-COTE Collections, Jay Renkyi. Travel Sponsor: Faze 2 Services

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For further information please contact: 

Claudia Andrews

Email: claudia@gubaawards.co.uk