Whenever well dressed women who have excelled in their fields of endeavour and wield power come together under one roof, one should expect nothing but a display of beauty, glamour, inspiration and intelligence.
And that is exactly what happened when the Labadi Beach Hotel, Accra, played host to the fourth annual Ghana Women of the Year Honours organised by Glitz Africa last Saturday.
The award scheme celebrates Ghanaian women who are setting the pace in various fields and excelling in their chosen fields to better the lives of others and help make Ghana a better place.
Last Saturday’s event, which started with a red carpet session later moved to the ballroom for the real deal where nine women were honoured for their contribution to the development of the country.
There was never a dull moment as the audience, made up of families and friends of the awardees as well as young people, kept cheering as the awardees gave accounts of their life experiences.
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Ghana Women of the Year Awards 2019
One by one, winners mounted the stage to receive their awards. The honourees are Dr Elsie Effah Kaufmann, a Senior Lecturer and Founding Head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Ghana; Excellence in Education, Mrs Barbara Amesika Baeta, a Caterer and Founder of Flair Catering Services; Excellence in Business award, Ms Gloria Akuffo, Attorney-General; Excellence in Governance, and the immediate past Attorney-General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong also for Excellence in Governance.
The rest are Theresa Ayoade, CEO of Charterhouse; Excellence in Entertainment Business, Nana Aba Anamoah, Editor at GhONE Television; Excellence in Media, Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, a Pharmacist and CEO of Food and Drugs Authority; Excellence in Health and Ms Emma Morrison, Group Head of Business Programming for the Multimedia Group; Honouree Corporate Personality.
One of the high moments of the night was when Mrs Marietta Brew Oppong-Appiah and Ms Gloria Akuffo, despite their political differences, walked up to the stage hand in hand and shared with the audience how they represented Ghana at the hearing of maritime dispute with Cote d’Ivoire.
This gesture received a lengthy standing ovation. Indeed, one could describe it as a moment of when “purpose triumphs over pettiness and politics, we all win”.
In her acceptance speech, Ms Akuffo dedicated her award to her advisors during the transition period. She described Mrs Appiah-Oppong who was not even her friend before the maritime hearing as a sister, saying “thanks to the conflict between Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, l got myself a sister, we were not friends”.
For her part, Mrs Appiah-Oppong shared how their opponents at the hearing of the maritime dispute were amazed to see them together, saying: “Yes we belong to different political parties but we are here as Ghanaians.”
Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr Rosina Acheampong, a former headmistress of Wesley Girls’ High School for her contribution to girl-child education in the country.
Presenting the award to her, an accomplished Human Resource Practitioner, Dr Mrs Ellen Hagan, described Dr. Acheampong as a woman of excellence and one who did not believe in mediocrity.
Dr Acheampong, affectionately called “Archie”, dedicated her award to the girl child, saying: “I have a short message for young girls.”
She said, “Ladies, do not take for granted the fact that the Creator purposely chose you to carry babies in your womb. Live in dignity, do everything you do in dignity.
The Creator chose you. Young ladies, you need a job and when you get one, do justice to it. Don’t play with your work, break the stereotype and do not block the chance for others.”
Also former First lady, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, received a special award dubbed Ayekoo Project for her book ‘It takes A Woman”.
Throwing light on the selection criteria, Nana Oye Lithur, a former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, who is a board member of the scheme said, “the criteria for selection was based on trailblazers, notable women who have made a mark in their industry”.