komlaA foundation to foster dialogue on issues of development and to reshape the identity of Africa as the new frontier in the world system has been launched in New York.

Known as the Komla Dumor Memorial Foundation, it seeks to provide a platform for the young emerging Ghanaian and African broadcast journalists to help influence and shape policies within their countries with a view to enhancing the interests of their peoples. At the well-attended launching of the foundation at the UN Church Centre on Friday were members of the diplomatic corps, media men, friends of Komla Dumor and representatives of some Ghanaian Associations in the United States of America. Ambassador Ken Kanda, Ghana’s Permanent Representative to the UN described the late Komla Dumor, former presenter for BBC World News and its Focus on Africa programme, who died on January 18, this year as someone who was imbibed with passion and the determination to excel in all he did. “The celebration of his life should send signals to young Africans and black people that passion, commitment and dedication brings desired achievements”, he said of Komla Dumor, one of Ghana’s best-known journalists, who joined the BBC as a radio broadcaster in 2006 after a decade of journalism in Ghana.

Ambassador Kanda said Komla Dumor who became the face of Africa on BBC, did well to the extent that he became “the respectability that Africa has been searching for”, adding that “Komla showed that the Black Man has also arrived and has the capacity for greater achievements”. In this vein, Ambassador Kanda, current chair of the ECOWAS group at the UN, charged Africans to prove in whatever field they find themselves that “Black people are capable of achieving greater things by always doing our best as exemplified by Komla”.

Prof. Ernest Dumor, father of the late Komla Dumor described his son’s death as a blessing, having in his lifespan helped to re-write the history of the African.

In his words, Komla, recrafted the identity issue of Africa as the new frontier.

It was for this reason, he explained, that the foundation was established to support and push the Africa agenda forward, and to foster interactive social discussions and promote education for mainly disadvantaged schools in rural areas. “We need to get a database, a register to unlock the growth potential of Africa”, Prof.Dumor stated, emphasizing that this was what Komla stood for.

Gringo Wotshela, a BBC correspondent in Washington, who was at the event, lauded Komla’s achievements as a determined broadcaster who wanted the best for Africa.

“He was able to touch the lives of a lot of people through his work. He was way too advanced”, Gringo said of his late professional colleague.

Dr. Koshie Dumor, a medical officer, said his late senior brother believed that the borders in Africa were imaginary, and always wanted a vibrant and energetic African youth.

To cap the event, there was a video clip on one of Komla’s interviews during which he hammered the point that there were a lot of good things about Africa, but there should be a balance in the way it was reported. Komla Dumor died at his home in London at the age of 41. On hearing of Komla’s death Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama said on Twitter that his country had lost one of its finest ambassadors.


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