Miss Ghana UK, WorldRemit bank on art as the future of Ghana

Edna-Ms-Ghana-WorldRemit

Leading digital money transfer service, WorldRemit and the Miss Ghana UK Foundation have announced the winner of the #MyFutureGH contest.

They will invest the GH¢20,000 prize fund in Miss Edna Azumah Aninga’s proposal to use art to curb societal problems.

Edna, from Bolgatanga in northern Ghana, was announced as the winner at the Silver Jubilee Miss Ghana UK awards night in London on Saturday night.

Edna’s entry was selected from more than 120 entries, where women across Ghana (between the ages of 16 and 26) explained how they would use the money to fulfil their ambitions and inspire others in the process.

Ideas ranged from photojournalism to farming and from music to the military, but almost a quarter of the entries planned to use Ghana’s artistic heritage in beading, art and design to build a better future.

As Edna notes, “Art is the universal language which everyone understands” and it was the opportunity to use Ghanaian art to reach people around the world which particularly inspired the judges.

Edna proposes to build an online art market promoting her community in Northern Ghana both as an art and a tourism centre.

She will train people in her local community in pottery and weaving to enable them to use these skills to escape poverty whilst using her background in journalism and the arts to tackle problems such as teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortions unemployment and child labour.

The judging panel of representatives from the Ghana Union, The Ghanaian High Commission in London, the Miss Ghana UK Foundation and WorldRemit praised Edna’s entry for her creativity and her passion for helping her community.

They particularly commended the focus on spreading knowledge for future generations and its sustainability as a business which could grow and promote Ghana’s talent both within Ghana and abroad.

With the success of Ghanaian artists such as El Anatsui and Ibrahim Mahama and the recent opening of Gallery 1957, people around the world are looking to Ghana as hotspot for art and design.

Edna’s proposal offers the opportunity to leverage international interest in Ghanaian art and design to help those most in need at home.

Martin Best, Head of Marketing at WorldRemit said: “Many of our customers have left Ghana to seek new opportunities, but the money they send back is creating new opportunities for people within Ghana today and in the future. What particularly struck us about this idea was its potential to promote Ghana’s talent and cultural heritage in art internationally, whilst creating opportunities within Ghana both today and long into the future.”

Cilla Baafuor-Gyewu of the Miss Ghana UK Foundation notes: “We were overwhelmed by the quality of the entries and it is testament to the wealth of talent amongst Ghanaian women and the immense potential Ghana’s young women possess to inspire others and build a better future. The number of women who see art as a way to build a better future for Ghana is a clear indication of the impact creative industries can have on society and we look forward to helping Edna to fulfil this ambition.”

WorldRemit and Miss Ghana UK Foundation will be working with Edna over the coming months to help her to make this vision a reality.

Edna will work with her mentors on the details of her proposal and on how the money should be invested most effectively.

WorldRemit will be sharing updates on the progress of the initiative via the WorldRemit Facebook page.

Credit: WorldRemit