With the world on health and safety high alert across the world, many countries across the world joined the Queen of England and Head of the Commonwealth, to celebrate Commonwealth Day with school assemblies, student debates and a first of its kind multi-faith service at the Accra Ridge Church.
This year’s celebration was held under the theme “Toward a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating and Transforming”.
In the opening address, read on behalf of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Commonwealth representative for the Africa region John Apea spoke of the need to address the impending climate crisis which is an existential threat to planet Earth.
“We have moved a long way since then, and much has happened which is positive. Yet we know that time is running out, and the need to move from declaration to implementation becomes more urgent with every year that passes. We may be the first generation to have truly experienced the tragic consequences of this climate crisis, yet we are perhaps the last with the opportunity to take action to reverse it”.
Ghana’s representative at the event, the Hon. Charles Owiredu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to the fundamental economic, political and social values of the Commonwealth family. He stated that Ghana will continue to support the efforts of the organization in “promoting a clean environment, economic growth, and development which are essential instruments for achieving peace and security, prosperity and the overall global agenda on sustainable development”.
This sentiment was reiterated by the British High Commissioner to Ghana Iain Walker who spoke of the strength of the Commonwealth being found in the unity, strength, and respect that members according to one another irrespective of size or economic power
“Each member state is as significant as the other in the Commonwealth”.
He further stated that the UK government is very happy to support the thematic areas of development affirmed at the Commonwealth Head of Government’s Meeting: to promote prosperity, sustainability, fairness, and security.
This year, Her Majesty The Queen’s speech was read by celebrated media personality Joselyn Dumas. Reading the speech on behalf of the Head of the Commonwealth, Ms. Dumas spoke of the need to “employ our planet’s natural resources with greater care’ and ‘continue to devise new ways of working together to achieve prosperity, whilst protecting our planet”.
This was followed by messages of hope, peace, and prosperity from the Spokesperson of the Chief Imam of Ghana, Dr. Marzuq Azindo, the Chief Priest of the Hindu Community Brahmachari Adimata and the Rt Reverend S.K Gyabeng of the Accra Ridge Church.
Herman Chinery- Hesse, CEO of indigenous ICT organization Softribe and Chair for the Commonwealth Technology and Business Committee in the Africa region rounded of the multi-faith service with an impassioned plea to entrepreneurs and Governments to place a renewed emphasis on ICT copyright and intellectual property as Ghana and the rest of Africa enters the fourth Industrial revolution.
Considering the fear of the spread of the Corona virus across the world, the event was well attended with great poetry and musical performances from the celebrated Nana Asaase, The Roman Ridge School and the Akropong School of the Blind