Tag: Sam Gyimah


Review: Ghanaians in Parliament with London Mayoral Candidates

Ghanaians in Parliament: forging political partnerships

Kwasi  Kwarteng, Adam Afriyie and Sam Gyimah are the three MPs of Ghanaian heritage that spring to mind when I think of Ghanaians in Parliament… not a group of men and women from my motherland milling about metres from the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London.

portic

Portcullis House

But that is exactly what The Ghana Society created when it organised ‘Ghanaians in Parliament with London Mayoral candidates’ at Portcullis House. Ghanaians from all walks of life rubbed shoulders with MPs and London Mayor hopefuls under the banner of forging stronger trading ties between Ghana and the UK.

Ghanaian connections

Fittingly, the event, which as MCed by broadcaster Owusu Frimpong, was staged on Ghana Republic Day on 1 July and hosted by Kelvin Hopkins MP. Mr Hopkins has a long association with Ghana. He is also good friends with The Ghana Society UK  founder Maria Ampah Lovell and it seems is something of a regular at Ghana’s social events. But his ties with Ghana are deep and stretch back to his school days when he had the privilege of watching a game between amateur footballers from the former British colony play in England against Their colonial masters.

The then-called Gold Coast team played BAREFOOT except for bandages on their feet and yet still managed to beat the home team!!!!

 

London mayoral candidates

Healthy competition is always good, as is partnership and trade which were central themes to the Westminster meeting. uk ghDiscussion centred on how the UK can collaborate with Ghana to foster these longstanding ties. Panellists comprising writers, economists and politicians used the floor to explore how Ghana’s mineral wealth, manpower and expertise can be partnered with the UK.

And this is where contributions from London’s mayoral candidates was key. Some homed in on the need to celebrate multiculturalism …but for me the ones that stuck out were those that were able to draw parallels between Ghana and the UK.

Let’s hope that in the same way that incumbent mayor Boris Johnson has flown the flag for UK-India trade collaborations, these same seeds of change can be planted in the minds of Boris’ successor.

 

solarSolar energy

So Tom Chance, who is standing to be the Green Party’s mayoral candidate, highlighted that like the UK, Ghana has ambitious plans to tackle climate change. He  touched on plans in Ghana to increase solar generation capacity by 6% by 2016.

Something I think we can all agree couldn’t come a day too soon for our brothers and sisters languishing under ‘dumsor’. ‘Dumsor’ or load shedding occurs when there is not enough power to deliver electricity to everyone in an area, forcing some people to go without.

In fact, it is UK-based Blue Energy, an investor and developer of renewable energy projects, that is helping Ghana achieve its 6% increase in solar generation capacity by 2016. The company is constructing the 155-megawatt Nzema solar project in Ghana. Overall, however, Ghana has a target to generate 10% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

 

Salt

Kofi Addo of the Ghana High Commission and agro-processing expert Anthony Ayakwah stressed the importance of harnessing Ghana’s resource base and adding value to the raw materials. Salt production in Ghana is an opportunity that isn’t being taken full advantage of, he stressed. Despite Ghana having enough salt to more than meet domestic consumption, Ghana imports salt 1tonnes from Brazil. And if only technology in cashew production in Ghana were more cutting edge, areas such as Wenchi in Ghana’s middle belt would be in a position to meet the needs of the UK market.

But not everyone agree with this model of trade partnership. Prospective Labour mayoral candidate Christian Wolmar observed that it seemed the rhetoric of adding value to Ghana’s resources and forging stronger UK-Ghana trade partnerships had not moved on since his early days as an economist more than 40 years ago. He questioned whether it wasn’t time for Ghana to focus its development around its own needs instead of trying to emulate the West.

Thought provoking stuff. But enough about what I think – see for yourself.

Here are some brief clips from the event:

Introduction

Ghanaian opera singer

Anthony Ayakwah on agro-processing

 

By Kirsty Osei-Bempong (MisBeee Writes)

Article taken from here

 

 

Inspiring Ghanaians – Sam Gyimah

Sam Gyimah – rising star in politics

 

Sam gyimah

 

How many black male UK politicians do you know? Well, you should know of Kwasi Kwarteng whom I blogged about last year (Profile: Kwasi Kwarteng, 17/05/2012), and there is also the Labour politician Chuka Umunna who has been labelled the “British Obama”. Apart from those two most people would struggle to name many others. However there is another equally talented politician of Ghanaian descent currently making waves in British politics.

Sam Gyimah is a British Conservative Party politician. He was elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for East Surrey at the 2010 general election.

Gyimah was born in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire, in southern England. He was educated at Achimota School in Ghana and later Freman College, a state school in Hertfordshire, followed by Somerville College at the University of Oxford, where he read Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and where he was elected President of the Oxford Union. On graduation from University, Gyimah joined Goldman Sachs as an investment banker; he left the company in 2003 to set up his own businesses in the recruitment and internet sectors. In 2005, he was awarded the Real Business/CBI Entrepreneur of the Future award.

In September 2005 Gyimah edited a Bow Group report, From the Ashes: the future of the Conservative Party. He subsequently was elected chairman of the Conservative think tank, the Bow Group from 2006 to 2007.Gyimah stood unsuccessfully for election in Kilburn ward in the Camden Council election in 2006.

Elected as the MP for East Surrey at the 2010 general election, Gyimah made his maiden speech on 29 July 2010. Gyimah sits on the International Development Select Committee, having stated an interest in harnessing the private sector towards achieving international development goals. Gyimah has also been active in debates on education and employment, as well as a number of local campaigns to protect the greenbelt in Surrey.

In 2011 Gyimah produced a report with think-tank NESTA (National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts), titled Beyond the Banks, in support of non-bank alternatives for businesses seeking finance. He was the first MP to call for credit easing as a means of accelerating Britain’s economic recovery.

In October last year Gyimah was chosen as the Prime Minister’s Parliamentary Private Secretary. He will now be relied upon to keep the PM abreast of feelings towards the Government’s agenda within the party, and helping with prep for Prime Minister’s Questions.

So just two-and-a-half years since entering parliament at the 2010 election, Sam Gyimah is rising through the ranks and has been hand-picked by the Prime Minister to be his eyes and ears in the hallowed halls of Westminster. That is some achievement!

Thus Sam Phillip Gyimah; Me Firi Ghana salutes you! You can find out more about Sam on his official website – www.samgyimah.com

 

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)