The names of seven Ghanaians on the UK New Year Honours List


The United Kingdom (UK) has announced the 2023 New Year Honours list, which includes seven Ghanaian names being recognized for their contributions to environmental activism, education, architecture, diversity and inclusion, and business.

The list, released by the reigning British monarch, King Charles III, recognizes the accomplishments and service of extraordinary people from across the United Kingdom (UK).

Professor Lesley Lokko has been awarded an OBE for her contributions to architecture and education.

The full UK annual New Year Honours list is available on this link

John Akomfrah CBE

London-based visual artist, filmmaker and writer John Akomfrah has been knighted (Knights Bachelor) for his services to the arts.

Born in Ghana in 1957, John now lives and works in London (UK). His work often explores the experiences of migrant diasporas globally.

John’s parents were anti-colonialist activists. In 1965, his mother met Malcolm X in Accra. According to the Chicago Reader, his father was a member of Kwame Nkrumah’s cabinet and was assassinated during the uprising. During the 1966 coup, John and his mother fled Ghana.

John was a founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective, which began in London (UK) in 1982 with the artists David Lawson and Lina Gopaul.

Their first film, Handsworth Songs (1986), used archive footage, still photos, and newsreel to explore the events surrounding the 1985 riots in Birmingham and London (UK).

The trio founded award-winning TV production company and artist studio Smoking Dogs Films in London in 1997.

John presented Four Nocturnes at the 58th Venice Biennale and the first Ghana Pavilion in 2019. (2019). Four Nocturnes is a three-channel work that investigates our destruction of the natural world and its consequences for humanity.

Adoo-Kissi-Debrah Rosamund

Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah is the co-founder and chair of the Ella Roberta Foundation, a charitable organization founded in memory of Rosamund’s nine-year-old daughter Ella.

Ella died in 2013 from a severe and rare form of asthma caused by London’s air pollution. Ella was the first person in the United Kingdom to have air pollution listed on her death certificate.

Rosamund becomes Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to public health in London (UK). Listen and read more about Rosamund’s work.

Mavis Maxine Amankwah

Business coach, mentor and diversity communications specialist Mavis Amankwah has been honoured with a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire for services to business and to entrepreneurship.

Born in Canning Town, east London on 28 August 1974, Mavis has helped around 800 businesses to grow.

She employs people through her various businesses, including Marvel Business Group, Women Like Me, Marvel Recruit, Rich Visions, and Mavis Joy Consultancy.
Marvel Business Group assists businesses, entrepreneurs, and organizations with business support, grants, and funding.
“It is a great honor to be recognized for the work that I have been doing over the last two decades, in the local area and around the world,” she said on her website.
Over the years, I’ve managed to run multiple businesses and assist women and people of color who may not have access to information to start, grow, and sustain their businesses, organizations, and enterprises.”

Dawid Konotey-Ahulu

Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, the co-founder of the Diversity Project, has been honoured becomes Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to diversity and inclusion. The Diversity Project promotes investment industry diversity.

Dawid was born in Accra to a Ghanaian doctor and an English nurse who, migrated to the UK, during the 1979 coup d’etat when he was 16 years old. He studied law at university, went to Bar School and qualified as a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn in 1987.

He began his career in investment banking in 1990 and left in 2006 to co-found Redington, an investment consulting firm.

Dr Jeffery Nii Adjei Tawiah Quaye

Dr Jeffery Quaye the national director of education and standards for Aspirations Academies Trust (Dartford, Kent), was honoured for services to education. He becomes an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Jeffery has a PGCE in secondary mathematics and an MA Education. He was the headteacher for the City of London Academy (Southwark) and has advised the UK government on education policy, and is a Fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching. The College of Teachers UK, and the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Maxwell Apaladaga Ayamba

Maxwell Ayamba is an environmental journalist, academic and founder of the Sheffield Environmental Movement (SEM), which promotes access to nature for Black, Asian and other ethnic group, and refugee communities.

He has been honoured with a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire for services to the environment and to the community in Sheffield, South Yorkshire (UK).

In 2004, he established 100 Black Men Walk for Health to help more Black, Asian and other ethnic group access and participate in the countryside to promote physical and mental wellness.

Maxwell is a PhD research student in Black Studies at the University of Nottingham.

Professor Lesley Lokko

Architect, academic, author and curator Professor Lesley Lokko has been recognised for her outstanding and sustained contribution to architecture and education. She is awarded the Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Lesley, who is the founder and director of Africa Futures Institute in Accra, first began exploring these issues 30 years ago, architectural production, education and criticism were essentially the preserve of men.

Her 2000 book: ‘White Papers, Black Marks: Race, Space and Architecture’, pioneered the study of race within architecture and remains one of the most important pieces of work in the field.

Professor Lokko’s ongoing research culminated in her recent appointment as the first-ever Black curator of the Venice Architecture Biennale, the most important cultural event in architecture worldwide.

Her Biennale, the 18th in the series, will be held in 2023 as only the third to be curated by a woman. She is also only the second Briton to curate the event, following Sir David Chipperfield in 2012.

Lesley was born in Dundee, Scotland, to a Ghanaian father and a Scottish mother and raised in Ghana.

The New Year Honour List is published on 30 December 2022.

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