By Papisdaff Abdullah *
Ghana’s Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has proposed a joint effort from all members of the Commonwealth of Nations to confront what he describes as challenges threatening the entire global economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Addressing a gathering at a religious service held to commemorate Commonwealth Day which falls on Monday 14 March 2022, the Vice President noted that just as in the past, the Commonwealth as an institution has dealt with major challenges and surmounted them, the current economic and all its associated challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic can be addressed through a concerted joint effort by the Commonwealth.
Post COVID-19 effort
According to Dr Bawumia “the Commonwealth made up of 54 countries”, with “different religious, races and ethnicities and so on, has been a force for good in this world” and that as a “united family”, the world has “seen the Commonwealth confront many challenges together in the past”.
“We are confronting new challenges today. The COVID pandemic has unleashed forces that we never anticipated. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, it represented for all of us, an existential threat to humanity and it was something that we all had to confront as humanity” the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr Bawumia said.
“Today we are seeing the threat now move from lives to livelihoods because we are looking at a major impact across the globe on supply chains, on prices of all commodities that are taking place and we are confronted with these challenges”.
“In addition to that we have a war going on in Ukraine and that has exacerbated these challenges. But I believe in the spirit of the Commonwealth, that if we work together, we are going to overcome these challenges and I believe that we will” Dr Bawumia added.
Deputy Lieutenant of the Queen for Greater London who also doubles as the Pastor of the Freedoms Ark church in London, Rev. Nims Obunge, in his address to celebrate of Commonwealth day commended Ghana for being a shining black star for Africa.
He indicated that he has during his visit to Ghana observed several excellent things being done in Ghana and by Ghanaians and that every effort must be made to keep building on them.
“I want to commend Ghana for being a shining black star for Africa. I say that as a British born Nigerian. I walked through the airport, I saw the excellence over there, I came through the streets, the excellence that Ghana, you have provided, I want to say continue, keep it up” Rev. Nims Obunge said.
“I also want to commend you for being a shining example of promoting diversity, the promotion that is not just confined to tolerating one another’s differences, but rather, there is a practical and ethical imperative that we transient living to tolerate one another because this cannot be about tolerance”.
“I will hate to be tolerated by any human being, I will love to be accepted, believed and celebrated, that is the call to our shared humanity” Rev Obunge added
Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council, Gabby Asare Octhere-Darko read the affirmation of the Commonwealth to the congregation.
“We affirm that every person possesses unique worth and dignity. We affirm our respect for nature, and that we will be stewards of the earth by caring for every part of it, and for it as a whole”.
“Joining together in kinship and affinity, in diversity and unity, as members of a worldwide family of nations, we build on shared inheritances. We cooperate with mutual respect and goodwill to deliver a common future for the good of all”.
“Through Commonwealth connection we learn from one another, and innovate to transform our communities, our nations and our world” Mr Otchere-Darko read.
In response to the affirmation, Mr Otchere-Darko, also led the congregation as follows; “we affirm our belief in the Commonwealth as a powerful influence for good in the world, and pledge ourselves to its service, now and for the future”.
Commonwealth Day 2022
British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, read the message of the Queen to the Accra Ridge Church congregation in celebration of the Commonwealth Day 2022 which will be observed on Monday 14 March 2022, with a service held at Westminster Abbey in London.
The theme for Commonwealth Day 2022 will center around the subject for the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – ‘Delivering a Common Future’ – which highlights how the 54 member countries in the Commonwealth family are ‘innovating, connecting and transforming’ to help achieve goals like fighting climate change, promoting good governance and boosting trade. Given that 2022 is Her Majesty The Queen’s Jubilee Year, there will also be a special focus this year on the role service plays in the lives of people and communities across the Commonwealth.