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Atisin! It mean hello, which I love to say when I now meet any Ghanan-many respond with a suprise smile! I learned this after living with 2 Ghanans from UMM after graduating in 1999. As of today (9/7/03), I still keep in touch with them as both of them proudly graduated this Spring! In fact, I just got off the phone from one of them, who was wondering how the international students doing.

I've been exposed to the Ghanan culture more than any other African nation due to living with 2 of them...

..... for almost 2 years (1999-2001). I tasted variety of foods and learned not to mix with certain American dishes (eg. corn and a Ghanan spicey dish-name?)-learned it the hard way-he! he!

Paul Brifo "enjoying" the Minnesota winter!

Paul Brifo, proudly poses after UMM's 2003 Graduation. Currently in Euless, Texas (finding a church?)

Kofi Anan

" On December 13, 1996, Annan was selected by the UN Security Council to be Secretary-General and was confirmed four days later by the General Assembly. Annan took the oath of office without delay, starting his first term as Secretary-General on January 1, 1997. Annan replaced outgoing Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali of Egypt, becoming the first person from a black African nation to become Secretary-General." -Wikipedia

Related Articles
Kofi Annan visits Minnesota alma mater
""We all have the power to make choices - we can choose to be silent and turn away or we can step forward and take action," he said. "However you choose to carry out your mission as global citizens, I know you will keep demonstrating ... the fallacy of the perception ... of an insular America with no interest or understanding in the world beyond these shores."
Annan, who studied economics at the school, returned for the inauguration of the college's Institute for Global Citizenship.
10:00 AM U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Inaugural Speaker for Institute for Global Citizenship
"Macalester Fieldhouse
Kofi Annan '61 will speak at Macalester this Saturday in celebration of Macalester's new Institute for Global Citizenship. He is the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations and was the co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. At Macalester, Secretary-General Annan was a member of the soccer team and a star on the track team, winning the 60-yard MIAC track conference championship. He was also a member of the debate team and a state champion orator. Last month, he was named one of the 100 "Most Influential Student Athletes in the last 100 years" by the NCAA. Tickets or student ID required for admission. Sponsored by: Institute
for Global Citizenship

UN Secretary Kofi Anan, from aljazeera

Recommended Resources



  • "Giving back to Africa Morris Sun Tribune" Published Saturday, June 09, 2007 By Philip Drown Sun Tribune

  • "UMM alumnus Paul Brifo leads a foundation that collects, refurbishes and delivers clothing to African countries. Below, the foundation recently send a shipment of clothing to the Word Of Faith Outreach Center ( WOFOC ) in Ahodwo, Kumasi.
    The community of Morris has often been a nurturing environment and launching pad for many innovative people over the years: entrepreneurs, artists, educators, people with political aspiration. Many who have lived within these borders, whether as students passing through or long term citizens, have gone on to accomplish noteworthy feats.
    Still, while their individual achievements are exciting to hear about and often encourage others to chase after their own dreams, perhaps the most noteworthy of such people are those who saw a future far greater than their own personal goals and ambitions and have used their success to create avenues of blessing and assistance to others who need it most.
    Paul Brifo, an alumni of the University of Minnesota, Morris is just such a person. In the late 1990�s, Brifo determined that he would leave his home in Ghana, pursue an education in the United States, build a successful future for himself and his family, and then give back to the people of his home in Africa.
    Brifo chose Morris as the doorway to that dream and came to UMM as an international student.
    �I had six cousins and one brother who all went to school in Morris,� said Brifo. �My brother recommended UMM and said it was a good school with hard working students.�
    Brifo was 37 years old and married with one son when he arrived in 1999. Leaving his family and coming to Morris was not easy and Brifo faced numerous challenges while here. But, he credits the difficulties he experienced and the support he received in Morris with helping to develop his character to accomplish what he needed to accomplish.
    In 2001, Brifo lost his uncle, who had promised financial assistance to help with his education. But, as one source dried up, local sources flourished.
    �With the help of Tom McRoberts, who I was living with at the time,� said Brifo, �I applied for financial aid. I also had help from my friends in Morris and my church. People would put money in an envelope and give it to me. These are the things I remember.�
    After graduating from UMM in 2003, Brifo obtained a job with Citigroup in the finance and accounting division and relocated to Arlington, Texas. Very quickly, he began giving back. In 2004, Brifo began collecting clothing from generous people and organizations around the state of Texas and shipped them to orphanages in rural Ghana. He has spent the better part of three years organizing, financing, and administrating this work entirely from his own funds and spare time.
    In early 2007, he established �The Paul Brifo Foundation� to continue this work and expand its reach.
    �I started this foundation as a result of my desire to alleviate poverty, disease and suffering in Africa,� said Brifo. �Donated clothes to Ghana are a big financial relief to the beneficiaries because of the high cost of living. Basic necessities of life like food, shelter and clothing are expensive.�
    The Brifo Foundation now collects unwanted clothing items from the people living in the U.S., launders and reconditions the items, and presents them to infants, young adults, and adults in rural Africa who are in need of clothing but cannot afford to acquire them.
    �People in Africa are so appreciative to receive the clothing that we take for granted here in America,� said Brifo. �Something as simple as clothing is so readily available here. I often receive donations that still have tags on them.�
    Over the past three years approximately 1,200 people have benefited from Brifo�s program. Currently the foundation supplies clothing primarily to orphanages and churches. Eventually, they will reach out to schools for the blind and disabled.
    In 2004, Brifo shipped 200 articles of clothing to Africa. In 2006, the number quadrupled. In April of 2007 alone, Brifo shipped more than 800 items of clothing to rural Ghana.
    But, for Brifo, this is just the beginning of the vision and work he has planned for the future. Brifo intends to expand his network of contacts in the coming years and intends to reach out to other nations.
    He recently made a new contact in Kenya and is making plans for distribution. He is also looking toward neighboring Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso is located in the western part of Africa. It is bordered to the east by Niger, to the north and west by Mali, and to the south by Cote D�voire, Ghana, Togo, and Benin.
    Burkina Faso's high population density and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens. Recent unrest in Cote d'Ivoire and northern Ghana has hindered the ability of several hundred thousand seasonal Burkinabe farm workers to find employment in neighboring countries.
    Since the clothing items he provides are not to be sold to the residents, Brifo said getting a trusted team to work with will be quite challenging, and he does not select his contacts in this work casually.
    �Used clothes in Africa can fetch lots of money,� said Brifo. �The clothes that I donate are free. Because of the high demand for used clothes in Africa, one may be tempted to sell them for cash. So I am very cautious of who I use as my contact person.�
    Brifo is now actively in search of grants and other forms of support to help the work.
    He plans to solicit more funds from corporate and non-corporate entities, write more letters to clothing manufacturers to donate factory rejects, and educate the residents of the United States about the economic plight of the African countries and the need for them to respond through their generous giving in kind and cash.�
    For more information or to learn how to contribute, visit the foundation Web site at: ."

    Alum establishes charitable foundation to assist the poor Posted by Philip D. Drown II on Wednesday, Jun. 13, 2007 (UMM)
    "Paul Brifo, an alumni of the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM), is just such a person. In the late 1990�s, Brifo determined that he would leave his home in Ghana, pursue an education in the United States, build a successful future for himself and his family, and then give back to the people of his home in Africa.
    Brifo chose Morris as the doorway to that dream and came to UMM as an International student.
    �I had six cousins and one brother who all went to school in Morris,� said Brifo. �My brother recommended UMM and said it was a good school with hard working students.�


    Former UMM Alumns Prince and Patience both got married on August 12th 2006...{Poeima Creations)}




  • African Studies Center-Ghana, from U Pennsylvania
  • Government

  • Ghana Embassy, in Washington D.C.-U.S.A.

  • Documents Expose U.S. Role in Nkrumah Overthrow By Paul Lee Special to

  • "Declassified National Security Council and Central Intelligence Agency documents provide compelling, new evidence of United States government involvement in the 1966 overthrow of Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah. ..


  • Paul Brifo Foundation, collecting clothes for the poor in Ghana

  • *contact my friend Paul (a former housemate at Morris from 2000-2001)


  • Ali (2001),

  • " A biography of sports legend, Muhammad Ali, from his early days to his days in the ring...
    Will Smith Ali Movie Trailer

    "Ali" 2001 - Opening Scene (Will Smith) , from



    Belinda Sings

    "Belinda, a 15 year old girl we met during our 2003 trip to Ghana, West Africa, teaches us the song "Alpha and Omega" in her language. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? For more information visit and click "Do You Know?" For more information about this ministry visit these sites: Ministry Site:"

  • Seedbed prepared for future outreach in Ghana Posted: 22 October, 2008 (Mission Network News)

  • "Ghana (MNN) ― Oasis International Ministries is making its mark with the children of Ghana by providing classes for local children. The lessons began a year and a half ago with only six students and now have expanded to over 200.
    The lessons teach values from the Bible that the students will be able to use on a daily basis. "Many of the students haven't heard even the simple Bible stories," says Ambrose Brennan of Oasis International. In order to explain these new stories to the children, teachers use flannel graphs, dramas and puppets, among other things.
    "What we have found unfortunately here, even in the churches, is that a lot of times the children are often overlooked and neglected," says Brennan. This belief that children are not worth much has given Oasis more obstacles to overcome.
    Training teachers about the way God views children is necessary. Many teachers tend to raise their voices or mistreat the students, simply due to a lack of education about God's view of children. Oasis has been working with teachers to help gain the respect of their students and to become godly role models.
    "We're trying to really stress to [the teachers] that children still have importance in the kingdom of God and that it is really important how they interact with the children so that they make them feel important," explains Brennan.
    The hope of teaching children about God's loves and biblical values will bear future dividends. "If we can impart some of these values such as honesty, truthfulness, patience, respect for others," says Brennan, "then that's going to carry on into the churches, into the kingdom of God, and make for better citizens here in Ghana." "


  • Houseshops Ghana Auction
  • Geography

  • Geographia

  • "Local religions also endure in Ghana, and are often practiced syncreticaly with the mainstream religions. The country's main holiday, Akwasidee, comes from the Ashanti religious calendar, and features an ornate ceremony involving the Ashanti king, known as the Asantehene."


  • CIA World Factbook
  • Republic of Ghana, official gov't site
  • Holidays

    Kwame Nkrumah & Ghana's 50th Celebration of Independence Pt1

    From the March 2007 show of Democracy Now. Ghana celebrates its 50th year of "independence" from the British. Kwame Nkrumah, one of the forefathers of the Organization of African Unity [OAU]and the Pan African movement is remembered.Amy Goodman interviews Kwame Nkrumah's son Gamal Nkrumah. Discussed are the impact of Kwame Nkrumah's legacy, his relationship with prominent black leaders and his threat to the western powers which resulted in the CIA overthrowing him in a coup and Nkrumah's self exile to Guinea. For more information view the article
    Documents Expose U.S. Role in Nkrumah Overthrow at
    Official website of Ghana's 50th celebration"

  • The Long Road To Independence, from
  • Miscellaneous

  • Info Please

  • "Premier Kwame Nkrumah attempted to take leadership of the Pan-African Movement, holding the All-African People's Congress in his capital, Accra, in 1958 and organizing the Union of African States with Guinea and Mali in 1961. But he oriented his country toward the Soviet Union and China and built an autocratic rule over all aspects of Ghanaian life. In Feb. 1966, while Nkrumah was visiting Beijing and Hanoi, he was deposed by a military coup led by Gen. Emmanuel K. Kotoka."

  • Wikipedia

  • "It was inhabited in pre-colonial times by a number of ancient kingdoms, including the Ga Adangbes on the eastern coast, inland Empire of Ashanti and various Fante states along the coast and inland. Trade with European states flourished after contact with the Portuguese in the 15th century, and the British established a crown colony, Gold Coast, in 1874.[4]
    Upon achieving independence from the United Kingdom in 1957,[5] the name Ghana was chosen for the new nation to reflect the ancient Empire of Ghana that once extended throughout much of western Africa."


    *see Bible

    *see Movies: The Passion, Crucification, Easter, Resurrection, etc..

  • * Journal Ghana 1973, from The Official Website of Arthur Blessitt

  • "...It rained all day and I was wet from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., twelve full hours of walking, preaching, and sloshing through mud and rain. At one point a demon possessed woman screamed, jerked and kicked at me. Every time I looked at her she screamed. I claimed in the name of Jesus, for God to silence her. He did, and she just stood and shook and I preached. At the end, many gave their lives to Jesus. I went over to the lady to lay hands on her and prayed. She was set free. After a final great scream she was fine.
    I was preaching and a huge crowd was gathered. As I stood on the Land Rover preaching, a man stepped out of a store and showered the crowd with perfume. Soon the smell was all around us and it was the sweetest crowd I had ever preached to. The man was very happy that I had come. I was reminded of the woman in the Bible who anointed the feet of Jesus with perfume.
    The cross was leaning against a coconut tree with the ocean waves washing almost to my feet. The waves were white as they began breaking about a hundred yards from the tree-lined coast. Sharp jagged rocks are sticking up and in the distance the white sandy coast of narrow beach stretches as far as the eye can see. Not a person is around. The weather is cool, and there are coconuts all around. There is no human sound, just the sound of the birds blending with the surf and the rustle of leaves making a most beautiful sound, like a heavenly choir. Surely this is God's creation making music as only it can. Oh, thank you Jesus for calling me into evangelism, for calling me to preach thy Holy Word to the entire world. I'm not worthy to even hold the Bible, much less preach it. I don't believe there is another person who has preached in so many different kinds of places in the world. ..

  • Mercy Ships-Youth Center

    "In Ghana, as Surgons on Mercy Ships perform life saving surgeries, volunteers travel into the city to help with other needs besides those that are medical in nature. This includes the establishing of a new Youth Center."

    Voice Africa Missions

    "Highlights from a trip to Ghana"



  • There will be no awards for musicians whose songs have profane lyrics -- says president of MUSIGA By Daniel Abugah Special to ASSIST News Service Thursday, March 13, 2008

  • "ACCRA GHANA (ANS) -- As part of measures to enforce discipline and bring sanctity in the music industry, leadership of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) says that in its subsequent annual music awards it not give prizes to musicians whose songs have profane lyrics.
    Mrs. Diana Hopeson, president of MUSIGA, addressing participants at the national executives’ workshop
    This was disclosed by the union’s national president, Mrs. Diana Hopeson, during an interview with this reporter.
    Mrs. Hopeson, who was commenting on a 3-day national workshop held in Accra for MUSIGA executives, hoped the decision would go a long way to discourage the growing trend of profane music lyrics in the country by some hip life musicians, which had been a subject of worry.
    Also a gospel musician, Mrs. Hopeson observed that gospel music in the country was making significant impact. She however noted that some people get into the gospel music industry either because they do not want to be tagged as ‘secular musicians’ or simply on the grounds of business, and not as it were, for the purpose of ministry.
    “Gospel musicians are those who are on a mission. Gospel musicians have the liberty to talk about politics and love, in God’s perspective, but we cannot also say that anyone who sings “Onyame Yeyi waye” (meaning God we praise you) is a gospel musician”, the MUSIGA president maintained.
    She noted also that in spite of the challenges there were still ministry-oriented gospel musicians, who are making impact in schools and villages and using music as medium of evangelism.
    On the challenges of MUSIGA and the way forward, Mrs. Hopeson said local artists do not have the relevant resources; such as record labels to enable them compete internationally. She mentioned that the union was working to liaise with the Ministry of Culture and collaborate with Ghanaian embassies abroad to organize periodic festivals where they could showcase made-in-Ghana music to the outside world.
    “Just like football (soccer) is selling Africa, I believe music too can take us far if we get the needed support and resources”, she added.
    Since its formation in 1975, MUSIGA had seen a number of transitions but this was the first time to hold a national workshop with the attendance of international representatives. Among those who participated in the workshop included a representative from the Trades Union, Sweden, an assistant general secretary of International Federation of Musicians, the president of PPL, and the project coordinator of the Federation of International Musicians (FIM) from Senegal.
    Issues discussed at the 3-day workshop bordered on contractual agreements, piracy, gender, collective bargain and copy rights. Mrs. Hopeson revealed also that MUSIGA would run a professional music school, effective by middle of this year. "

  • Holy Wood Music

  • KOFI & HOLYWOOD (Jeusu Is Mine) - Music Videos

    "JESUS IS MINE track # 14 of 15 from thier newly released album "worship of the saints". filled with praise and worship songs in deferent rhythms and styles churches across America are singing some of these songs in their services if you love coporate praise and worship then this is the cd you need. visit WWW.HOLYWOODMUSIC.COM to get the CD/DVD and you will love it ."

    Amazing Grace from Alabaster Box

    "Watch the joy in the faces of these four men as they delight with their 'Afropella' style of singing. They have coined the name Afropella, meaning 'acappella' made in Africa."


  • Joy 997 FM, first Ghanan website I surffed at
  • Travel

    Trip through Accra, Ghana

    " carride trough red clay Accra town doun the roa... carride trough red clay Accra town doun the road to the beach, see the people going by, the landscape of Ghana capital "

  • Lonely Planet, travel info
  • Wikipedia
  • -Attractions:
  • Skywalking in Ghana's primeval forest, updated 12:17 p.m. EDT, Thu September 25, 2008 By Arthur Max Associated Press

  • " KAKUM NATIONAL PARK, Ghana (AP) -- This primeval forest in southern Ghana boasts 300 species of birds, unique monkeys and the highly endangered forest elephant and bongo antelope.
    But the only wildlife I saw was one very long worm.
    The tropical rain forest of Kakum National Park is so thick that light barely breaks through the treetops. Spotting animals, often shy night-wanderers, is an uncommon joy, won with great patience and luck.
    Regrettably, the group of visitors that I was part of had neither.
    Kakum's "canopy walk" tries to better the odds of glimpsing the park's leery inhabitants.
    The rope bridge suspended 100-110 feet off the forest floor yields an extraordinary sweep of nature from what feels like just below cloud level.
    A 20-minute climb from the reception and restaurant area on a trail through the dank thicket takes you up 600 feet to the edge of the valley.
    Along the way, our forest officer may point out some of the trees and their medicinal properties, a brief taste of a two-hour guided tour that is available separately.
    The guide can tell you, for example, about the strange Kantun tree, with its roots exposed above the ground like a coat rack: The bark is good for pregnancy, the leaves are pain killers, the leaf bark sap counteracts parasitic infections, and the tree sap can be an antidote for food poisoning.
    Kakum National Park: Open 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The canopy walk for tourists is $9, with discounts for students and locals.
    Getting there: Kakum is a two-hour drive from the Ghanaian capital, Accra. Cars can be hired in the capital for about $140 round trip, slightly more for a van that carries up to 10 people.
    Climate: Ghana is an equatorial tropical country with roughly year-round temperatures of 80-90 degrees. The rainy season in the south is April-July and September-November.
    Medical: A yellow fever vaccination is required for entry, and you may be asked to show certification. It's prudent to take anti-malaria pills and mosquito protection.
    The brief lecture serves as a chance to catch your breath from the climb -- but it is soon to be lost again in the breathtaking view from the canopy walk.
    At the top of the ridge you step onto the bridge, with only a narrow plank of wood underpinned by a few steel bars and a netting of rope separating you from the abyss.
    The thrill of skywalking can be tempered for an acrophobe like me, who is reluctant to even board a Ferris wheel. Knowing that there is nothing to fear does little to settle nerves or steady shaky knees.
    But with a deep breath and a determined look ahead (not down), I walked the plank and pulled myself along the rope handrails to the first wooden platform, a circular treehouse that serves as a way station on the 1,000-foot-long walkway.
    The bridge gives a little bounce and sways a bit as you walk unsteadily through the V-shaped side netting and on to the next of the six platforms.
    But this is more than an amusement park ride. It's a tiny window on the Earth as it was before man started fiddling with it.
    From all around come the calls of birds and the rustle of unseen monkeys scampering among the limbs of ebony and mahogany trees, their crowns highlighted in the late afternoon sunlight.
    Kakum, which became a national park in 1990, is a 135 square mile remnant of the vast forest that once stretched near the Atlantic Ocean shore of West Africa, from Guinea through Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast and Ghana.
    Today, 90 percent of Ghana's rain forest is gone, felled for agriculture and mining. Kakum stands amid small plots of maize, cocoa, cassava and palm oil, and tracks of degraded scrub land that were farmed and abandoned when the soil became depleted.
    The park has 100,000 visitors a year. Half are Ghanaian and about a quarter are expatriates working here and their visitors. A few thousand are tourists who come to this English-speaking country of 23 million people, often described as one of the safest and friendliest in Africa.
    Around Kakum's edges are villages like Afiaso, a hamlet of thatched-roof huts lacking electricity and sanitation and one concrete building -- the schoolhouse. Cocoa beans, the main source of income for the 620 residents, are arrayed in the sun on wooden platforms in various stages of drying.
    Afiaso is off the tourist track on the western side of the park, but the villagers were expecting us.
    A troop of girls wearing bright wraparound skirts and beaded necklaces, their bodies streaked in ash, performed a traditional dance to a drumbeat pounded out by half a dozen teenage boys.
    Chief Nana Opare Ababio and the village elders, dressed in ceremonial togas and regally seated on plastic chairs, greeted us under a tree and talked about the forest, its wildlife, and their hopes of starting an eco-tourist business.
    Long ago, the villagers brought down the massive trees to clear the land for cocoa plants. Until the park was created, ending the relentless stripping of the forest, the men would hunt game and conduct ancient tribal rituals at revered forest shrines under the boughs.
    The protection of the forest has allowed the wildlife population to grow, but also has increased conflict between man and animal, especially the elephant whose numbers have increased by nearly 10 percent to at least 206 since 2000, says Daniel Ewur, the park manager.
    Smaller than the familiar Savannah elephant, the forest dweller is still a healthy eater, and occasionally ventures outside the park to forage in agricultural fields.
    Chief Ababio said he doesn't regret the loss of hunting rights and is happy that the children will grow up seeing animals that otherwise might vanish from the earth"

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