Goodwill Message At 2024 SFC in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire

Rt Rev Dr George Kotei Neequaye, Anglican Bishop of Tema addresses the audience at the Conference.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints and the organizers of this Strengthening Families Conference for inviting me to this Conference. I am thrilled and most grateful.

Bride Price in Ghana

I was talking to a young man recently and asking why he is living with his wife and two children, and yet they are not married. He pointedly said, “I can’t pay for the Bride Price and the subsequent wedding.” So, he is trying to save towards the Bride Price and the Wedding. But it is tough to save in Ghana, especially if you have children and other responsibilities. The different responsibilities are taking care of yourself, supporting your wife, and caring for extended family relations.

The Bride Price refers to the monies and items you must give to your intended wife’s family if you declare your intention to marry her. Traditionally, you have no control over the bridal list that is compulsorily given to you by the family of your intended wife, and the bride’s price varies from family to family in Ghana. Some of the bride prices in Ghana include knocking schnapps (some families will ask for money in place of the schnapps), and then the marriage items are correct. These include six pieces of cloth, six headgears, the engagement (Marriage) ring, the engagement (Marriage) Bible, a Hymn Book (and that depends on which Church you go to), coal port, fufu mortar and pestle, at times, sewing machine, money to appease the father and the same pacification for the mother of the bride. The brother-in-law of the Groom will also have to be silenced with money for taking his sister away from him. Finally, thanksgiving money and items like soft drinks, and so on to thank the bride’s family members present at the ceremony.

Looking at the current salary structure of the average Ghanaian, it means unless the parents of the Groom support him, he will take years to be able to raise money to pay for the Bride Price. What should the Church and the nation do to lessen the high cost of Bride Price?

On the part of the Church, since the Bride Price is traditionally compulsory and they can’t legislate against it, the Church could form a small committee to go and sit down with the parents of the would-be bride to negotiate the Bride Price. In addition, if the Church is in good standing financially, she could also support the young man, their member, to pay for part of the negotiated price.

On the part of the nation, a committee could be put together by Parliament to meet with all the traditional leaders to look at what can be done so that young men who want to marry are not overburdened.

The above is just to give a teaser to the discussions that will be done today at this conference on the Pride Price and its effect on Marriage.

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ELIZABETH SUDUE HARRIS is the Assistant Regional Director of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) and is a social worker in Region 1 of Liberia.

Mrs. Harris has earned her master’s in public administration at the University of Liberia with a certificate in Agriculture Statistics in Botwswana, Gaborone.

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CONSCIOUS HUMANITY PANELIST, Ataa Nii Kwei Afadi Tetteh was born on 21st September 2002. He had his basic education at the ST. Bernadette Soubirous School then later moved to Akosombo International School where he studied Home Economics, Biology, and General knowledge in Arts (G.K.A)

After school, he had his attachment at the Erata Hotel before taking the Chocolatier Training at Delfi Ventures Cocoa Museum and Chocolate Factory where he was trained by his aunty, Ida Dela Kuekey Austine.

In 2021, he completed a 1-year advanced cooking course at the Accra Technical University and is currently the Chief Chocolatier of Delfi Ventures, makers of De’Laugh Chocolates here in Accra.

He is one of the youngest chocolatiers in Ghana.

APIORKOR SEYIRAM ASHONG-ABBEY is a Ghanaian Poet, Writer/Author, Literary Scholar and Critic, Media Practitioner, TED Speaker, Activist, and Versatile Creative of Ga-Danme and Ewe ancestry.

She is the author of The Matriarch’s Verse (a collection of Poetry, which is available on booknook. store and Amazon, both in Paperback and Kindle editions).

Apiorkor is also the Head of Programmes Production at Accra-based Citi 97.3 FM and Citi TV, where she also hosts Diplomatic License and What’s Cooking? while advocating for the causes of Literacy & Numeracy, appreciation of the Creative Arts & Art business, as well as Culture.

KAFUI DEY presents TV Breakfast, GBC’s weekday morning show where he interviews guests from governance, health, and industry.

He also conducts corporate communication training and teaches an undergraduate course at the Ghana Institute of Journalism.

Since 2016 Kafui has been the Goodwill Ambassador for Accra Psychiatric Hospital.

HER EXCELLENCY, DR. ISATOU TOURAY was the Vice President of the Republic of the Gambia. She was part of the Coalition that remove the authoritarian regime for 22 years in the Gambia. Before she was appointed VP, she served as Minister of Trade, Regional Integration, and Employment, and as Minister of Health and Social Welfare.

Before her current political engagements, Dr. Touray Co-founded a feminist organization, The Gambia Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (GAMCOTRAP), a leading women’s rights organisation in the fight against FGM, GBV and promoting the effective participation of women in politics and served as the Executive Director.

She holds a Ph.D. in Development Studies, with emphasis on gender and development, from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, United Kingdom.

HIS ROYAL MAJESTY, KING DR. NII TACKIE TEIKO TSURU II is a 49 year old entrepreneur. He holds an MBA in Strategic Management & Consulting from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), School of Business, an International Business Certificate on culture from KNUST, a certificate in marketing, a certificate in cleaning science in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a Bachelor of Arts from KNUST.

He is the founder of Aenon Artisanal Mining Limited, a small-scale mining company with concessions in Bibiani in the Western Region.He was in 2012 selected as running mate by Mr. Jacob Osei Yeboah (JOY) an independent presidential candidate in the 2012 Presidential Election. King Dr Tackie Teiko Tsuru II was also appointed Advisor to the Liberal Studies Department of Kumasi Polytechnic. He also taught entrepreneurship at Kumasi Polytechnic and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

HON. CLAUDIANA AYO COLE, became the Minister for the Basic and Secondary Education Ministry following the inauguration of President Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of The Gambia in 2017.

Mrs. Cole was a member of the Senior Management Team of the Ministry and as a Regional Education Director, since 2010 prior to her taking up the top office of Minister. She was appointed as a teacher in 1981, Headteacher in 1990 and from 2002 she served as a Senior Education Administrator.

As one of the longest-serving educationists with more than three decades in the educational sector, she is known for her work on education policy reforms and management of education even in hard-to- reach areas of the country.

Mrs. Claudiana A. Cole can be considered as one of the pioneers of the Girls’ education agenda that has brought about parity and inclusive education in The Gambia during the Education for All (EFA) call, and now the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

MR. EKLOU KOFFI AMEN, Child protection overseer in the Togo Association of Children and Young People for the Rights of the Child (AEJT-DE).

Mr. Eklou Koffi holds a bachelor’s degree in contemporary history from the University of Lomé.

Mr. EKLOU is married and is a father of 4 children.

DAKPÈ SOSSOU, Graduated in Territorial Administration at the Administrative Training Center in Brida, Algeria, Dakpè SOSSOU embarked very early on in politics.

Dakpè SOSSOU served in the National Assembly after the legislative elections of 2018 and it is with great commitment that he participates in the parliamentary debates in this8th legislature.

His election to the current position of Second Vice-President of the National Assembly of Benin.

MRS. JOSEPHINE KAFUI TETTEH received a degree in Psychology and an MPHIL in Guidance and Counseling. She owns her own Counseling firm, The Center for Life Balance. She conducts private counseling sessions and conducts workshops on the subject, “Essential Life Education – The Science of Self-Discovery and Life Mastery for Individuals and Corporate Bodies.”

Mrs. Tetteh is also employed as the school’s counselor of St. Bernadette Soubirous school, Dansoman where I run reprogramming models that reorient children into self-awareness and their greatness.

In addition, she is a Court Connected Mediator at the Weija Circuit Court and a Minister of God at the Etherean Mission International, the Center for spiritual empowerment.

ELDER SAMUEL ANNAN-SIMONS was named an Area Seventy and a member of the Third Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the April 2021 general conference. Elder Annan-Simons received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing from Central University and a Master of Science Development Degree in Finance from the University of Ghana. Since 2005, he has worked for The Church of Jesus Christ

of Latter-day Saints in several positions, including Treasury Analyst, MLU Analyst, and Planning Analyst. He currently works as Temple Assistant Recorder.

Elder Annan-Simons has served in a number of Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Ghana Accra Mission, Ward Clerk, Counselor in a Bishopric, Stake Young Men President,

Bishop, High Councilor, and Stake President. Samuel Annan-Simons was born in Sekondi, Ghana, on June 22, 1975. He married Gertrude Theodora Afful in 2006. They are the parents of four children. Elder and Sister Annan-Simons reside in Kasoa, Ghana.

BRO. DR. ISHMAEL TETTEH, Leader and Founder of Etherean Mission/Director for Conscious Humanity – Ghana. Brother Ishmael Tetteh is a spiritual master, whose international presence and message of World Peace over the past 3 years has empowered thousands of lives from Africa to Germany, to the UK, and now the United States.

As founder and spiritual director of the Etherean Mission in Ghana, Brother Ishmael’s charismatic presence has graced the podiums around the world. From the New Thought Alliance in South Africa, the Assoc. for Global New Thought in Palm Springs, to many U.S. churches, organizations television and radio programs throughout the East and West Coast.

In addition to a Special Congressional Award for outstanding and invaluable service throughout the international community, he has been awarded Mayoral Proclamations from the cities of Santa Monica and San Francisco, who have declared April 25th and March 17th as “Brother Ishmael Tetteh Day.”

COULIBALY KALAHIRI GERMAIN is a priest of the Roman Catholic Church in Katiola, a town in northern Côte d’Ivoire. After a master’s degree at the Catholic University of West Africa in Abidjan, he obtained a Doctorate in Catholic Theology with a specialization in Missiology at the University of Strasbourg in France.

Father Kalari has 32 years of priestly experience as a priest and currently practices in Katiola. He created the Center d’Accueil Sainte Généviéve in Katiola to protect abandoned children and to promote their empowerment.

He is the first recipient of Family Values Awards from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

KWAKU SAFORI is a communications enthusiast with over ten years studying and practising in the field of communications. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication studies from the Central University and two Master’s degrees, one in Development Communication, from the Ghana Institute of Journalism, and the other in Business Communication, from the University of Education Winneba.

He is the Executive Assistant to the Chairman of the African Business Centre for Developing Education, an NGO focused on helping the business community to deliver various services to the educational sector, and a Communications Consultant at African Business Communication, an international corporate and marketing communications consultancy firm.

He was formally the International Students Relations Officer at the Pentecost University, a lead liaison, bridging the gap between Management and all international students. He was also a mentor to a cross section of students at the University.

SAM SONI EJEKWU KGS JP is the Honourable Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs in Rivers State of Nigeria.

Sam Soni Ejekwu has obtained Bachelor of Science degree in Human Anatomy from the University of Port Harcourt, Post-Graduate Diploma and Master of Science degrees in Human Resource Management from the Rivers State University, Master of Science degree in Public Health from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Public Health from the University of Port Harcourt.

Sam Soni Ejekwu, a former banker with First Bank of Nigeria PLC and Chairman of Fieldman Nigeria Limted (a Waste Management outfit) has grown through the ranks in Public Service and the Political Space in Public Service and the Political Space in Rivers State of Nigeria after many years of successful business life. And is currently serving as the Rivers State Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs.

FRANCIS ADDAI-NIMOH Hon Francis Addai-Nimoh is a Ghanaian politician with strong Christian faith background. He is a professional Civil Engineer and has served his country with expertise in both private and public sectors. He, academically, holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and has acquired also diverse professional skills and knowledge, from both local and international institutions.

He served as a Member of Parliament for Mampong Constituency from January 2009 to January 2017, on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He was the Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Enviroment, Science and Technology from 2013 to 2017.

In 2014, whilst as a Member of Parliament, he ran for the first time, the Leadership race of the NPP, to become its flagbearer, and   to subsequently run for the Presidency of Ghana, but was unsuccessful. An ambition he is still pursuing. Hon Addai-Nimoh is a family man, having been married to his spouse, Stella, for about 28 years. They are blessed with three strong male children . He is a believer in achieving strong family system and values as the basic unit for the development of society.

Elder Patrick Appianti-Sarpong was named an Area Seventy and a member of the Third Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the April 2021 general conference.

Elder Appianti-Sarpong received a bachelor of business administration degree in accounting from Methodist University College Ghana and a master of research degree in finance from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.

He has worked in several positions at the Ghana Missionary Training Center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including training supervisor and manager of operations.

FRANCIS ADDAI-NIMOH Hon Francis Addai-Nimoh is a Ghanaian politician with strong Christian faith background. He is a professional Civil Engineer and has served his country with expertise in both private and public sectors. He, academically, holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and has acquired also diverse professional skills and knowledge, from both local and international institutions.

He served as a Member of Parliament for Mampong Constituency from January 2009 to January 2017, on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He was the Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Enviroment, Science and Technology from 2013 to 2017.

In 2014, whilst as a Member of Parliament, he ran for the first time, the Leadership race of the NPP, to become its flagbearer, and to subsequently run for the Presidency of Ghana, but was unsuccessful. An ambition he is still pursuing. Hon Addai-Nimoh is a family man, having been married to his spouse, Stella, for about 28 years. They are blessed with three strong male children .

I. RAYMOND EGBO, Area Seventy and a member of the Third Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 1, 2017.

Elder Egbo received a bachelor’s degree and an Advanced degree from the University of Calabar, Nigeria and the University of Cumbria, United Kingdom. He is currently the Area Director for the Church Educational System in Africa West Area.

Since joining the Church in 1989, Elder Egbo has served in several Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Nigeria Lagos Mission, counselor in a stake presidency, counselor in a district presidency, high councilor, and mission president (Nigeria Calabar Mission, 2009–2012). He married Comfort Ikip Ese in 2003. They are the parents of two children. Elder and Sister Egbo reside in Abuja, Nigeria

GLORIA ODIMBA is a Principal State Counsel with the Office of the Public Defender, Lagos State, Nigeria, a Human Rights Advocate, and a Child Protection Specialist. A graduate of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, she was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2007. Odimba Gloria is a versed Criminal Defense Counsel and a trained Child Justice Administrator who has attended several pieces of training such as the National Institute of Trial Advocacy NITA (USA) Training on Child Justice, and HarvardX training on Child Protection, amongst others.

She has also facilitated and conducted several pieces of training on Criminal Justice Administration and Child Protection/ Rights for Police Officers, Teachers and Teenagers, Churches, and Schools. She volunteers with the Feeders Foundation, An NGO interested in the well-being of children.

CYNTHIA OHEMAA APPIAH, She studied Political Science at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and did her national service at Ejuratia secondary school as a government teacher. She worked for a cleaning company after national service for a year and then secured a job with an insurance company.

She worked with the insurance company for 5 years after which she resigned to start her own business.

She runs a travel and tour company. In the year 2021, she created a platform on Facebook called Women in Business where other women like herself are given the opportunity to advertise their products and services for free. The main objective is to inspire women to be financially self-sufficient by creating business opportunities and sharing business ideas.

KOBINA ACKON, Known widely by the brand name, Wode Maya is a Ghanaian freelance Vlogger/YouTuber. With a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Shenyang Aerospace University, China, Wode Maya has, over the years been able to create a niche for himself in the area of Social Media Content creation and in a space of a few years; his channel grew in popularity, attracting over 1,000,000 active subscribers and millions of views. He has collaborated with other top YouTubers from Africa and also helped small content creators & Entrepreneurs gain massive exposure.

He has managed to interview a plethora of diplomats, Entrepreneurs and Cultural icons. Notable in this list are Former President of the Republic of Ghana, John Kufuor, Renowned Kenyan Lawyer & Pan-Africanist Prof. PLO Lumumba and more.

Wode Maya is currently working on the Africa to the World Project.

SHEIK DR. MOHAMMED MARZUQ ABUBAKARI, is a lecturer, journalist, and researcher on a wide range of issues in Language, Education, and Religion. He holds a Ph.D. in English as a Second Language (ESL), MA in Adult Education (ESL Specialty), and BFA in TV Production. Schools he attended include the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), University of Ghana, Legon, and Ain Shams University, Egypt. Besides, he is an alumnus of the Oxford University Symposium on Religious Studies.

Dr. Mohammed Marzuq Abubakari is the columnist of LITERARY DISCOURSE on and LANGUAGE AGENDA on In addition, he is the Personal Assistant (PA) to His Eminence the National Chief Imam. Currently, Dr. Mohammed Marzuq Abubakari lectures FUNCTIONAL ENGLISH and ACADEMIC WRITING at the University of Applied Management, Ghana. Besides, he is the Executive Director of the Islamic Peace and Security Council (IPASEC). He is also a member of the Governing Board of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund). He is a multilinguist in Arabic, English, and French.

ABOUBACAR DOUCOURE of Mali is a researcher and Islamologist. Mr. Doucoure received his D.E.A in literary criticism: Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah University, Fez- Morocco and a Masters in Arabic Language and Islamic Studies. And is currently a member of Faculty of Islamic Appeal based in Tripoli, Libya, and a Baccalaureate degree in Arabic Language and Literature from Medersa Oummouna Sikasso in Mali.

Mr. Doucoure has been involved in the Formation of the League of Preachers of the Islamic World in the peace building and conflict management; Training in codicology (science of manuscripts); Training for the protection of the manuscripts of Timbuktu; and Training on manuscripts and IT organized by the project; and Training on human rights Ouagadougou – Burkina Faso.

LILLIAN MAUREEN MIASSI is working in the Commercial & New Markets department of an eCommerce company, as a City Launcher.

I also work part-time as a Freelance Translator and Interpreter. I formerly worked as a Sales Consultant in the Bathroom & Interior Design/Renovation industry.

I have studied Languages and have a BA in Translation and Interpreting. Most importantly, I am a child of God and a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

As a YSA, I strive to use my time wisely, and participate in the gathering place so as to learn and develop skills, resilience, and self-confidence that can help me handle adulthood and prepare me to found my own family one day.”

MADAM SIA FASULUKU is the Director of Research, Planning and Development in the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education. She is a result-oriented manager with extensive experience in sustainable development, with emphasis on West Africa.

Ms. Fasuluku is a proactive team-player who excels at building trusting relationships and believes strongly in empowering others. She is credited for her ability to communicate effectively with different stakeholders and manage complex and demanding relationships; excellent proposal writer; proficient in Microsoft Office – Word, Excel, Power Point, Access; eloquent public speaker across a variety of audiences from the boardroom to rural village communities; fluent in English and Dutch languages; functionally literate in French.

HON. CHARLES O ESONU is the current commissioner for Youth Development, Abia State Government, Nigeria. Born into a Seventh Day Adventist family, he is a Christian, a Lawyer cum politician in Abia State.

He has served in various capacities until the current office. He is a former Aba North Local Government Chairman, former State Secretary PDP Abia State, former Special Adviser to the State Governor, former member commission of inquiry, former Secretary Actors Guild of Nigeria Abia State chapter, former councilor Aba North.

A lawyer trained at University of Calabar and Nigeria Law school Abuja.He is married with 6 lovely children.

JAMES KWESI ADDISON is Ghana’s first internationally qualified Emotional Intelligence Master Coach. His training was facilitated by the EQ Development Group on behalf of the Multi-Health Systems Incorporated, Canada.

He founded Addison International Canter for Emotional Intelligence (AICEI) which has trained personnel from the Ghana Police Service, Lands Commission, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, the Ghana Enterprises Agency, NGOs, and Faith-Based Communities in Ghana to mention but few.

He attended Opoku Ware School and St. Augustine’s College and holds two master’s degrees from Coventry University (MIS) in the UK and the University of Cape Coast (Microfinance) in Ghana and is currently studying master’s in educational studies with the Presbyterian University College, Ghana.

MADAME MARIAMA SÉNABOU SANE born on October 26, 1974, in Dakar, social worker, and head of social services at the Limamou Laye High School in Guédiawaye in the Dakar region.

Since 2018 I have been working at the Ministry of Women, Family, Gender, and Protection of Vulnerable Groups in the Directorate of Family and Protection of Vulnerable Groups as responsible for monitoring vulnerable groups.

REV. PROF. CHARLES ANUM ADAMS is an Associate Professor of Transport Planning and Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi (KNUST). He is the Centre Leader and Director of the World Bank-financed Africa Centre of Excellence (ACE), Regional Transport Research and Education Centre Kumasi (TRECK), and the Centre leader of the Centre for Sub Saharan Transport leadership (CSSTL).

He is a professional civil engineer and the current president of the Ghana Institution of Engineering (GhIE). He is a member of the International Road Federation, World Road Association, and the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) research network scholar.

Charles is a civil engineering graduate of KNUST and studied transport at University College London/ Imperial College, London, UK. He is a member of the Technical Committee of the Southern African Transport Conference.