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The State Journal-Register Online - Springfield, Illinois

   

Tamara Browning Column

Published Saturday, March 03, 2007

Local doctor aims to help develop Ghana

Dr.
EDEM AGAMAH
, who grew up in Ghana, has hopes for Ghanaians' future as they work to solve their problems.

Agamah, a hematologist and oncologist with the Central Illinois Hematology Oncology Center and clinical associate professor with Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, also is president of the Springfield-based medical missions group INTERNATIONAL HEALTH & DEVELOPMENT NETWORK. He has led several trips to Ghana, offering Ghanaians medical and public health knowledge backed by faith in God.

Agamah believes Ghanaians can develop self-sufficiency without waiting for others to think for them.

"They can make a contribution to society and to the world," Agamah said.

Agamah's hopes for Ghana continue as the West African country notes its 50th anniversary of independence from British rule on Tuesday.

Agamah will be among speakers who will participate in the GHANA @ 50 CELEBRATION from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 10 at the Indian Recreational Center, 2940 N. Peoria Road.

The celebration will include Ghanaian cuisine, a display of Ghanaian culture, music and dancing. African dancers PEACE BIRDS, a group from St. Louis, also will give a presentation.

Formed from the merger of the British colony of the Gold Coast and the Togoland trust territory, Ghana in 1957 became the first sub-Saharan country in colonial Africa to gain its independence.

In its 50 years of independence, Ghana has increased its educational programs and has gone from a small unitary parliamentary system of government to a blend of parliamentary and presidential system, according to the Ghanaian News Canada.

On the negative side, however, military adventurers disturbed the political and social order of the country several times, leading to destruction of the political system, human rights abuses and plunder of the nation's wealth.

During the local 50th anniversary celebration, PATRICK BOADU will speak on pre-independence Ghana, BERKO OWUSU will speak on post-independence Ghana, and Agamah will talk about the vision for Ghana.

Agamah's presentation will be based on what others have done in other countries, such as Singapore, which has a highly developed market-based economy.

"I challenge Ghanaians to also recognize that they are no different from those countries," Agamah said.

Tickets for the celebration are $5 per adult (children are free). Tickets will be available at the door.

For ticket information, call Kwabena at 414-5289; Ocheng, 553-5380; Jack, 553-4598; Joshua, 816-4006; Joseph, 891-7415 or Senna at 899-5835.