A farewell by Ambassador Lartey

A farewell by Ambassador Lartey


On 2 March 2024, Her Excellency Mrs Jennifer Lartey, Ghana’s Ambassador to Norway with concurrent accreditation to Finland and Iceland, delivered a speech to say farewell to Ghanaian migrants in Finland at the end of her term.

The speech, very touching and apt, was delivered to members of the Ghanaian migrant community at a farewell event in Helsinki that was organised by the Ghana Union Finland, an association that represents Ghanaian migrants in Finland.

Below is an abridged version of the speech:

“It has already been five years since another chapter of my life, and a new journey of national purpose began, when, in March 2019, I presented my credentials to His Royal Majesty King Harald V, as the first Ambassador of the Republic of Ghana to the Kingdom of Norway.

As well, I presented my credentials to the President of Finland, H.E. Sauli Niinisto, and the President of Iceland, H.E. Guðni Thorlacius Jóhannesson, as Ghana’s Ambassador accredited to the Republic of Finland and the Republic of Iceland, respectively.

At the establishment of the Embassy, a core mandate that was given to us by the Government of Ghana was to protect and advance the interest of Ghana, and Ghanaians in the afore-mentioned countries of accreditation.

As I set off on this journey, I did not know what exactly to expect, though I had heard, beforehand, a lot of good things about Ghanaians in Norway, Finland and Iceland. Upon arrival and assumption of Office, you confirmed to me through interaction and working together, the good impression you had already left on other quarters.

Over the past five years, I have had the pleasure of working for, and with you to represent and project our dear nation Ghana. The success of the journey would not have been possible without your cooperation and goodwill. I will stress, without equivocation that we have worked well together, and that those wonderful memories that have been created along the way are ones that I will always hold dear.

When I have departed my current position, it is my hope that I will continue to hear of your good works for your communities, and for Mother Ghana. That you will continue to positively portray our culture, put your best foot forward in representing us as a people, and strive to deepen your ties with Mother Ghana.

I cannot overstate how important it is to keep our dear nation Ghana close to our hearts, and remain cognisant that our kinfolk have interwoven their hopes and aspirations with our industry, diligence and hard work.

I will urge us all to put our shoulders to the wheel that will drive the transformational development of our country. It behoves us, brothers and sisters, to come together and create the utopia that we envisage for Ghana. 

While we are on our sojourn in Finland, and we continue to shine bright as Ghanaians in this adopted home, let us not depart from being the exemplary individuals and groups that we have demonstrated to be over the years. I am confident that we will continue to be gentle and forgiving to one another, and be each other’s rock.

Also while in Finland, I acknowledge that we are at a crossroads of cultures, with ones that are new to us, going against the grain of ones that we have lived for many years. Let us, in that regard, endeavour to be accommodating of these new cultures, and live in harmony with our neighbours who may not have had the exposure, hitherto, to our cultures. The onus, brothers and sisters, is on us to engage them, and teach them about our beautiful cultures, and the significance that they hold for us, as Ghanaians.

As some of us may also be aware, there are, at times, blurred lines between what is a cultural norm for us, and what is legally permissible in our adopted countries. In this regard, let us make every effort to be abreast with the laws of Finland, in order that we do not fall foul thereof. As the Good Book says “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”

The Good Book also says that, there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Hence, another chapter of my life is drawing to a close, and I must reiterate that my time here as Ambassador has been truly enriching, and I feel fulfilled.

When we set out to purvey to our countrymen in Finland, little did I know that I will find such a wonderful family here. I have faith that our story will not end here, and that, we will continue to nurture our kinship with kindness, and in the spirit of goodwill.

You, my dear brothers and sisters, have truly been a blessing to my life. May God bless our Homeland Ghana, and may God bless us all.”

 The columnist lives in Finland

With Dr Perpetual Crentsil


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