District 9102 of Rotary International, which comprises 120 Rotary Clubs and more than 3,000 Rotarians across four countries – Ghana, Niger, Benin and Togo, has set an ambitious target to execute projects to the tune of US$2million over the course of the next operating year.
This is according to its District Governor, Rotarian Victor Yaw Asante, who says the projects will focus on key areas consistent with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with particular attention given to health, education and sanitation.
Speaking on the eve of the handover ceremony which formally signaled the commencement of his tenure, Mr. Asante, who doubles as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FBN Bank, said the District has been especially encouraged by the impact of previous projects. “We aim to raise a few hundreds of thousands into the Rotary Foundation – where we get money for our projects; but we also aim to execute some US$1.5million to US$2million worth of projects across the District, and we have already had some commitments,” he said.
At the ceremony, recounting his 33-year association with the service organisation – 17 of which have been as a member of the Rotary Club of Accra, Ring Road Central, he explained: “In 2011, attending my second International Convention of Rotary International in New Orleans, USA as President-Elect, I listened to the then Rotary International President-Elect from 2011 to 2012, Kalyan Banergee, who completely changed my approach and outlook on Rotary. He made the task of doing good in the world sound like a ‘higher calling’ to save the world”.
“Therefore, inspired beyond my narrow view of Rotary, I came back to Ghana preaching the gospel of how we should fearlessly take on more difficult and complex projects, like mass recruitment of Rotarians and increasing Rotary Clubs so that we automatically increase the people who provide resources – both financial and human – for the important work of eliminating diseases, hunger and illiteracy,” Mr. Asante added.
On his suitability for the position, CEO of the Firstbank Group, Dr. Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan, said from their initial interaction, it was evident Mr. Asante possessed the qualities of a servant leader; the same which saw FBN Bank’s profit before tax more than double for the 2021 fiscal year, growing by 112 percent to close at the period at GH¢111.8million.
“When I first met Victor and went through the recruitment process which led to his appointment as MD/CEO of FBNBank Ghana, one of the attributes I found interesting about him as a leader was his love for ‘service to mankind.’ He has spent many years giving back to society and his communities even as he moved up the corporate ladder. This is truly remarkable!” he emphasised.
All hands on deck
As the world continues to grapple with the global economic downturn, and the most vulnerable in respective societies are being exposed to the brunt of the crunch, the Minister responsible for Communication and Special Guest of Honour at the ceremony, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, urged all stakeholders to join hands to address the challenges and propel the local and global economies forward. “We are at a time when we need to further deepen collaboration to see the world that we want, and Rotary has shown us it is possible,” he said.
Outgoing Governor for District 9102, Rufine Lima Quenem, thanked all present for giving her the opportunity to serve and providing an enabling environment for success. She encouraged Rotarians in the District and across the globe to remain consistent with the theme for the year – Imagine Rotary – and visualise the impact a united front can achieve.