Saturday, 01 April

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus delegation calls on Accra mayor

General News
Illinois Legislative Black Caucus in Accra

An 8-member delegation from the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC) has paid a courtesy call on the first female Mayor of Accra, Elizabeth Sackey to strengthen ties between the two cities. 

Members of the delegation include Coy Puah,  Aaron Ammons, County Clerk, Vincent R. Williams, Vice Chairman Illinois Leg. Black Caucus Foundation, Tiffany D. Hightower, Executive Director, Illinois Leg. Black Caucus Foundation, Carol Ammons, Joint Chair. Bea Mensah Tayui, Chairperson of Chicago Accra Sister City as well as Mr Kwame Kludjeson, Country Director Sister City International.

The call forms part of the delegation’s 10-day visit to Ghana to identify opportunities and establish stronger relations with local authorities in Ghana. 

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus founded in 1968 is an American political organization comprising African Americans elected to the Illinois Legislature to promote the interests of African American citizens.

State Representative Carol Ammons, Joint Chair of ILBC and the first African-American woman elected to the 103rd District, who led the delegation said the purpose of the visit was to rekindle the connectivity, strengthen the relationship between Illinois and Accra as well as develop partnerships.

"Chicago has 29 sister city programmes but we have not seen the connectivity between African American businessmen and women and our sister city programmes and that is what we want to intensify, grow and develop...The investments in our communities and opportunities need to be shared, so for us, we want to expand that growth, partner, and contribute to the development of Africa just as it is happening to other communities and countries on sister city programmes, " she said.

"We want to bring our legislative influence to bear so we can make a specific difference in the sister city outcomes we see in Accra... What is calling us is our soul, the black community must return home, black people must be black and Africans again so that they can recognise the importance of our synergies."

State Representative Carol who hinted that the Governor of Illinois and the speaker of the house were aware of the trip also used the opportunity to recommit to the sister city programmes in Accra.

Mayor of Accra, Elizabeth Sackey, who welcomed the delegation, touched on collaborations in trade, women empowerment, infrastructure development, and sister-city relations among others.

She also used the opportunity to inform the delegation about the Accra World Book Capital title and preparations for the year-long celebrations aimed at encouraging a culture of reading whilst using the power of books to engage young people. 

Presiding Member of the AMA, Alfred Asiedu Adjei stressed the need to work with the speed of light whilst assuring the Assembly's willingness to collaborate with sister cities to improve the lives of the people in Accra. 

Ms Beatrice Tayui, Chair of the Sister Cities programme for Chicago & Accra, Ghana, in a comment noted that this collaboration would open new channels of opportunities whilst widening the options available and raising the level of development for both cities.