Leading digital money transfer service, WorldRemit and the Miss Ghana UK Foundation have announced the winner of the #MyFutureGH contest.
Edna Azumah Aninga’s proposal to use art to curb societal problems was selected out of more than 120 entries. The program, opened to women between the ages of 16 and 26 across the country, saw them explaining how they will use their prize 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. The judging panel of representatives for the event was drawn 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.
Edna, who will be receiving the 20,000 Ghana cedi prize fund noted that “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 also train people in her local community in pottery and weaving to enable them to use these skills to escape poverty. Her background in journalism and the arts will also be harnessed to tackle problems such as teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortions, unemployment and child labour.
With the success stories of Ghanaian artists such as El Anatsui and Ibrahim Mahama, coupled with the recent opening of Gallery 1957, people around the world are looking to Ghana as a 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.
Head of marketing at WorldRemit, Martin Best, speaking about the idea 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.”
On her part, Cilla Baafuor-Gyewu of the Miss Ghana UK Foundation underscored their desire to help Edna achieve her dream.
“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,” she noted.
Organisers of the event say they will invest the 20,000 cedi prize fund in Miss Edna who hails from Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region. The prize award is to assist the winner roll out the projects that was proposed in the competition. In light of this, Edna who was announced as the winner at the Silver Jubilee Miss Ghana UK awards night in London last night, will work closely with the sponsoring companies on how to disburse the money efficiently.
WorldRemit and Miss Ghana UK Foundation will also 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.
For more information about MyFutureGH and to stay up to date with the programme, visit WorldRemit on Facebook.