Pishigu-Lana Dr. Alhassan Andani, Chairman of the Dagbon Development Fund (DDF) has called on natives of Dagbon in the United States to promote the culture, tradition and history of Dagbon to the International Community.
He said, that can be used as part of efforts to foster peace and unity among the Northern Ghana Diaspora Community in the United States and other parts of the World.
Pishigu-Lana Andani said this in a speech read on his behalf by Dr. Mohammed Marzuq Abubakari, a Lecturer at the maiden celebration of Damba festival in Jersey City, New Jersey, United States.
It was used to educate the residents on the history of Dagbon and Damba, Culture and Traditional dancing, merry-making, meet old and make new friends and also raised funds to support the development of Dagbon.
He spoke on the topic: “Dagbon Development Fund, the Role of Dagombas in the Diaspora” said, the DDF was a robust financial management system put in place with the appropriate governance structures to oversee the administration of the fund.
The maiden celebration was on the theme: “Northern Ghana Development: The Role of the Notherner in the Diaspora”.
He said the objective of the DDF is aimed at strengthening the economic and social cohesion in Dagbon by correcting intra-Dagbon imbalances between communities and the rest of the world.
Pishigu-Lana Andani revealed that the fund was to partner government, the Northern Development Authority, the private sector and other international development partners to: Rebrand and repackage Dagbon Chieftaincy institution to become a major vehicle for development, mobilize funds and manage them prudently for Dagbon traditional area, and to make Dagbon a competitive economic area including financing infrastructure linked notably to research and innovation, Agriculture, Telecommunition, Environment, Energy and Transport, Advocate, and pursue sustainable development of Dagbon in line with the Sustainable Development Goals”.
“It is also to increase gender equity and women empowerment for total transformation of Dagbon, advocate to increase access to quality education at all levels, promote peace building and cultural rejuvenation, support social protection, take action for environmental protection, set up a team of experts to agree on the principles of DDF to guide the mobilization and use of funds and any other activity determined by the DDF General Assembly or Board of Directors”.
Chief Ife Bell, Zosimli-Naa of Tamale who was the special guest said, there was the need to produce and make a greater impact on especially the vulnerable in the society.
She said, her palace would bring diverse leaders who are young, energetic, and committed professionals who would register with a yearly fee, and be members of the Tamale-Louisville Sister Cities Committee.
Zosimli Naa Bell disclosed that her office was committed to establishing a formidable group known as the “Friends of Tamale” and that the group will be a diverse group of African Americans and White, women, and men, young and old with a particular focus on the African American community, who desire to visit their ancestral home to participate in building or to investing in Ghana as well as visiting tourist sites to boost tourism in Northern Ghana and Ghana at large.
She said this approach will demonstrate the preparedness of the youth to be stakeholders in the work of development for Tamale and encourage everyone to reach out to the Tamale-Louisville Sister Cities office to join the movement.
“I will again focus on bolstering existing programmes and strengthening relations with the individuals and professionals from the Northern Region living in the US to make connections with every Northerner abroad or within the US to join the movement and develop a database and share a link for individuals to sign-up to help us keep in touch and support one another when the need arises.”
The Chief urged the good people of the North in the United States to join her in the development agenda for the people of Tamale and the Northern Region as a whole.
She also appealed to the good people of the North to ensure that the current peace in Dagbon is sustained to attract developmental opportunities for the region.
Bo-Naa Professor S. Nantogma, former Member of the Council of State, took the celebrants through the history of Damba and how the culture and tradition of Dagbon was performed during the celebration of the Damba festival.
Mr. Osman Shitu, a member of the Organizing Committee in his welcome address called on the Northern Community to promote the culture and tradition of the North wherever they found themselves and expressed appreciation to all who made time to be there.
He also thanked the guest speakers for their dedication and commitment towards promoting the development of the North and optimistic that the festival will promote North and Ghana at large to the International Community.
Other Speakers and dignitaries who graced the celebration was, Dr Grace Hampton of the Department of Art, Pennsylvania State University, Dr Mohammed Habib Adam, a Retiree of the US Army and Alhaji Dagomba oy, a revered Businessman from the North.
Also at the celebration was the Wuza-Wuza Dance Ensemble from Ghana based in New York who beef up the celebration with the traditional drums and dance, a Veteran Musician from the North who now resides in Chicago, Sirina Issah and a young Musician, Tuba Clan also from the North and reside in the States.
By: Amadu Kamil Sanah, (GNA Special Correspondent, New Jersey, USA)