HUMANIST VISIONS FOR AFRICA, GHANA
Report Workshop For Humanist and Secularly & Scientific Minded Human Rights
Date: Saturday 3rd April 2004
Time: 12pm prompt
Venue: Top of Bookshop University of Ghana, Legon
Number of participants: 50
Organisers: Ghana Humanist Youth Society under the auspices
of the IHEYO
more information about humanist youth activities in Ghana, please
* Bosman Boakye, E-Mail: email@example.com
* Kwame Anane Frempong, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Report of the workshop
Purpose of Workshop
The purpose of the workshop was to introduce the International Humanist Ethical
Youth Organization manifesto to Ghana and the forth coming Conference on Humanist
Vision Of A Developed Africa and for possible participant to interact and exchange
ideas on humanism and its significance to Africa.
The guests of honour
The invited Guest and Speakers were drawn from all sectors of the Ghanaian Society
and men who have distinguished themselves in the field of Advocacy and volunteerism.
Almost all the guests and speakers invited for the workshop turned up and were
very influential in making the workshop a success as they engage participants
who arrived early in discussion while away time while they waited for participant
to take their seat.
In all about 50 participants and observers turn up although I must say they
arrived late which delayed the start up of the workshop. Most of the participants
were impressed with the orderly manner. The workshop was organized though in
a short notice. Participants expressed optimism about the whole workshop before
it got under and stressed after the workshop, that they organize more of such
The first ever workshop in Ghana on Humanist Vision Of A Developed Africa,
Ghana under the auspices of International Humanist Ethical Youth Organization
(IHEYO) got underway at exactly 12pm due to the late arrival of participant
and the desire of organizers to have as many participant as possible.
The welcome address was delivered by the President of Ghana Humanist Society
Mr. Bossman Boakye who expressed his gratefulness to the speakers and participants
for responding positive to the workshop though a short notice and thanked
them for their sense of humanism.
Introduction of Chairperson
Miss Berlinda Sarpong a student of the University of Ghana introduced the
chairman Mr. Bright Esifie Kumi who accepted the post of chairmanship by thanking
the organizers for the confidence they have repose in him by choosing him
as the chairman for the occasion.
The chairman after his induction into the post as chairmanship invited the
President of Ghana Humanist Youth Society (GHYS) Mr. Bossman Boakye to give
the opening address for which he stressed on the important role humanism is
to the people of Africa and work of International Humanist Ethical Youth Organization
by saying the organization has brought the sense of identity to people, community,
society and nations. And call on all the participants to join forces to make
the dream of IHYO vision of a Developed Africa a reality. He went on to say
that this workshop is the first of its kind and that there is more to follow.
Volunteerism for Development
The chairman invited Mr. Rashid Zuberu (Focal Point Coordinator for United
African Network of Young Peace builders, UNOY & ANYP in Ghana) after opening
address by Mr. Bossman Boakye.
Mr. Zuberu thanked the organizers for putting up the workshop
ahead of the conference in Uganda before proceeding to give his speech. In
his speech he remarked that volunteerism brings a lot to individuals, society
and nations. He further went on to give empirical evidence of the importance
of volunteerism in economic sense as he stated that in the United States volunteerism
generates 9 million full time jobs and up 225 billion, while in Canada, it
generated 578,000 jobs and 11 billion.
He stressed on the various activities that volunteers are engage in including
democratisation, immunization, environmental action, promotion of human right.
He touched on the fact that volunteerism can be a remedy for massive borrowing
by developing countries. He said the 20th Century has demonstrated that with
invention and igniting it is possible to extend access to every resource of
the community to the physical, social and cultural environments, transportation,
information, technology, justice employment etc.
He went on, in the 21st century we must extend this access from the few to
the many, dismantling all environmental, electronics and attitudinal barriers
to full inclusion in Community life, with that access he remarked, can come
the stimulation of participation and leadership, the warmth of fellowship,
the glorious of shared affection, and the beauties of the earth and universe.
He added by saying there is no development if it is not from all and for all.
Speech by Yemi Johnson
Mr. Yemi Johnson who was the special guest of honour and Secretary General
of International Humanist And Ethical Youth Organization (IHEYO) presented
a speech on behalf of Gea Meijers President of IHEYO.
In the speech the President expressed her thankfulness for
the workshop and the great enthusiasm in Ghanaian participants. From her speech
she touched on humanism, as been the core set of thoughts that gives a person
a good context for developing ones life view on the personal and on the societal
level. The speech also touched on the importance of freedom of choice and
said humanists have been from the beginning of the development of UN, UNESCO
and the Universal Declaration of Human rights.
The speech elaborated on the IHEYO as an international network
of young humanist. Stressing that it has collaboration ranging from Europe,
Africa, USA, Asia and South America, and said that the conference and other
activities is aimed at stimulating humanism in Africa.
The speech thanked all those who made the workshop a reality.
Mr. Yemi Johnson the Secretary General of IHEYO was the
last to speak and he touched on HUMANISM, VOLUNTEERING AND AFRICAN EXISTENTIAL
After his presentations, participants asked questions which were centred on
how Humanist Visions exposed in the various Manifestoes and Declarations relates
to Africa Development and how these visions can be achieved. It was agreed
that things could only get better if everyone can decide to volunteer part
of their time to bring about noticeable changes in the world. A campaign emanated
from the conference.
Participants at the conference agreed that:
- Religion and State must be separated so as to individuals
the opportunity to develop their full potentials without lets and hindrances
- That INTOLERANCE in all its ramifications must be shunned
in order to bring about the much-needed change in Africa. And that Ethnic
Instigated violence (such as the Rwanda genocide) and Political Violence
must be rejected by all Africans.
- That Democracy must be protected with every positive
weapons possible without resulting to war.
- That the rampaging youth unemployment in Africa must
be tackled headlong with a visionary Youth Development and Youth Empowerment
Policies all over Africa.
- That Information and Communications Technology should
be handled by African leaders so as to bridge the widened technological
divide between African Youths and their counterparts all over the world.
- That we declare our UNALLOYED support for the UN Millennium
Development Goals and New Partnership For Africa' Development as a viable
possible panacea to make AFRICA, the cradle of world civilization, great
- We hereby resolve that VOLUNTEERISM will be a great force
to be reckoning with if Africa will ever achieve the much-craved greatness.
The above resolutions were later turned into handbills with
which a round the University Campaign was carried out.
Participants had a discussion on NEPAD and MDGs. The discussion
was basically on how /what the African youths (and ECOWAS Youths in particular)
can do to ensure the success of the visions of the two documents.
The chairman who was enlightened by the various speech from the speakers,
expressed his appreciation by saying he is from now on going to volunteers
his time and energy in pushing the humanist manifesto forward and that the
organisers for inviting him to the workshop. He pleaded with the Secretary
General to help organise more of such workshop in Ghana. He thanked all for
Votes of Thanks
The votes of thanks was delivered by Miss Eunice Lawer of the INTERNATIONAL
YOUTH AND SYUDENTS FOUNDATION (ISEF), who thanked the various speakers who
were all youth for taking time from their busy schedules to honour the invitation
to the workshop.
She thanked the organisers of the workshop especially Mr. Bossman Boakye and
Mr. Kwame Anane Frempong for the hard work, zeal and initiative spirit to
make the workshop a reality and a success.
The workshop finally came to an end at exactly 2:30 pm local time after a
peace song was sung which goes like:
If You Believe In Peace
Join Us Now
If you believe in love
Join Us Now
If You Believe In Unity
Join Us Now
Together We Can Create A Better World
Kwame Anane Frempong
(Interim Secretary General)
Ghana Humanist Society