Ade Sawyerr

Ade Sawyerr BSc (Administration) Management Option, MBA. FCMC

Ade is a management consultant with several years experience of working on economic, enterprise and community development issues. He is a founding partner at Equinox Consulting a consultancy set up 30 years ago to provide an integrated approach of consultancy, training, and research on issues that affect disadvantaged, socially excluded and ethnic minority communities in Britain and abroad. Ade has been at the forefront of enterprise and social enterprise development strategies.

He has conducted research into entrepreneurship, designed several enterprise development and inward investment programmes for local areas, directly counselled small and medium enterprises on set up and growth strategies, formulated and developed business plans in several industrial, financial and commercial sectors.

He has also developed, designed and delivered several enterprise skills programmes targeted at both start-ups and established growth organisations, led seminars and spoken at conferences. He has extensive experience in formation of business associations and chambers of commences helping them to deliver services to their stakeholders.

He has developed and managed loans and grants funds set up by development agencies to assist small businesses in local areas and worked on procurement projects that would engage small businesses in local purchasing initiatives. His work on enterprise development has taken him outside Britain to South Africa, Gambia, Italy, Zimbabwe and Ghana where he has appraised, monitored and evaluated projects.

Ade has undertaken research, consultancy and training assignments or a variety of topics including examining barriers to employment for young people and people from disadvantaged communities and designing and implementing hard and soft skills training programmes to improve their chances of employment, progression and retention in the job market.

Ade provides management support and consultancy to a large number of third sector organisations developing strategic and delivery plans, undertaking feasibility studies for community centres and facilities, appraising, reviewing and evaluating community development projects. He has also organised capacity building, training and leadership programmes directed at strengthen the management and staff capability, facilitated in strategic awayday seminars and conferences and implemented several community consultations. He has also conducted research on the state of the sector and the challenges faced by the third sector.

Prior to setting up Equinox Consulting, Ade had worked as a general manager in a medium sized business, had operated his own travel agency, worked as a systems engineer for IBM and as an assistant accountant in a bank. He holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, a B.Sc Administration Management from the University of Ghana; he is an approved consultant of the National Council of Voluntary Organisations, a Certified Management Consultant and a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultancy.

Ade is active in community work, an ex governor of a primary school, and ex chairman of the Ghana Union London and an ex chairman of Gadangme Nikasemo Asafo a small cultural and educational charity. He sits on the advisory board of the black business brokerage service and was a trustee of London Community Foundation. Ade is a prolific writer and has published several articles on business and community development as well as on cultural issues.




Motivated by the desire to find solutions to seemingly intractable solutions for disadvantaged and emerging communities, Ade uses his vast experience gained in working with black and minority ethnic communities and his expertise as a competent business analyst to research and develop proposals for cohesive and integrated communities.


Ade has spent the last 35 years working as a management consultant in the UK, focusing on enterprise support, regeneration, community engagement and development and employment develop strategies.  He has designed, developed and delivered training programmes on business, community management and employment skills and also undertaken policy research to inform decisions on the black and minority ethnic and other disadvantaged communities.  He has consulted for a large number of community organisations, implemented capacity building programmes and explored strategies for building community cohesiveness and integration.

He has been active in community activity with a large number of facilitating and grassroots organisations and involved in the cultural, political, social and economic advancement of the African heritage community in the UK

His background qualifications are in management, a Bsc Administration in Management completed in University of Ghana in 1971 and an MBA from Manchester Business School in 1982

Ade writes on a variety of community, cultural and diversity issues and he is a powerful and insightful speaker at conferences and seminars


Ade Sawyerr has interests in variety of issues that he finds time to discuss or speak or write on in addition to his voluntary activities

He spends a lot of his time at seminars, conferences and workshop on issues such as

  • Politics of Africa and the Caribbean
  • Inter-generational activities amongst the young and old
  • Culture of Africa especially Ghana and specifically Gadangme Culture
  • He is a member of the London Gadangme Speaking URC Fellowship
  • He is also a member of the Sickle Cell Society and plays an active role when he can



Multi faceted with a profound insights on several issues that he uses to help people and organisations.  A clear thinker who is constantly working on issues that affect the community around him.  Trusted a valued colleague and friends who constantly tap into his ability to help find solutions to problems.



Collecting information from proposers of the project, carrying out secondary and primary research formulating a strategic plan that provides a guide to further action on the governance and management, the services and goods, the markets and marketing, the production and service management, the capital and resource requirements and the equity and debt requirements of the project


Appraising projects and applications for funding to ensure that they meet the criteria that has been set up by funders and ordering the projects based on the priorities of the funders and evaluation projects that have been delivered using baseline information to determine that the goals and objectives have been met, targets delivered to provide the desired impact and that lessons have been learnt


Designing robust methodologies and undertaking research on issues affecting black and minority ethnic communities who are normally referred to as ‘hard to reach’ but are traditionally excluded communities


Devising innovative and appropriate methodologies to enable us to consult with the black and minority ethnic communities so that we can elicit their views on issues that are of concern to them and engage them in such a manner that they can also participate and decision making at the local, regional and national level on issues that affect them


Helping organisations to develop action plans based on facilitation strategies that enable the review of the organisation, the statement of purpose of the future based on the present strengths and weaknesses of the organisation and the parameters and variables that will enhance future focus and performance


Providing training programmes in business skills, community organisational management skills and seminars, soft employment skills and board and trustee seminars and training programmes across different sectors.


Development of proposals for the implementation of projects ensuring that the goals, objectives, inputs and targets and impact are clearly stated and that evaluative capacity is built into the proposals that are develop and a community delivery plan with costings is provided


  • Proficient in the use of computers in building and generating networks and familiar with major software and productivity packages
  • Proficient in the use of Microsoft Office 365 for business
  • Proficient in the use of several statistical packages
  • Excellent skills in speaking, reading and writing in English
  • Excellent skill in speaking reading and writing of Ga



MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT with several years’ experience in small and medium enterprise development, business planning, proposal structuring, feasibility studies, investment appraisal, project evaluation, management development and business training, project management, organisational restructuring, financial and economic analysis, market research and marketing, for small businesses as well as clients in the public, voluntary and private sectors. Work experience has included both long and short term assignments.

1983 – date  Partner, Equinox Consulting
Responsible for the day to day operation of this management consulting firm that focuses on enterprise and community development projects as they affect inner city and ethnic minority communities in Britain.  I am responsible for the writing and supervision of most proposals and tenders for work.  I have also led multi-disciplinary teams of associates to execute different types of projects.  These include business skills training, management development programmes, studies for the setting up of enterprise agencies, counselling small business people conducting research, looking at mechanisms to promote and develop entrepreneurs in local areas, providing advice and specialist assistance to companies with potential for growth.  I have worked for Local Authorities, TECs, City Challenges and Task Forces, Employment Service and a whole host of trusts and Charities that are involved in enterprise promotion.

1979 – 1980  Group Manager, Cobdorf Group of Companies

General Manager responsible directly to the Board of this family owned concern.  Had full responsibility for the operation of all aspects of the groups work.  I was in direct contact with the banks who were interested in revitalising this company after the death of the owner and founder. Successfully completed a restructuring and rationalisation, of this medium-sized highly diversified company involved in the production and marketing of food products, agriculture, property and tyre-re-treading, to ensure that the functions of production and service delivery, marketing, and finance were properly co-ordinated.

1976 – 1979  Managing Director, Afro Asian Travel Centre

Managed the day to day affairs of this travel agency involved in charter flights and tours. Expanded the company’s client base to include special event flights for seminars, conferences, sports people, pilgrims to various other countries apart from usual travel to Europe and America. Initiated an aircraft brokerage service for other operators including the state-owned airline and integrated linkages with hotels to provide a complete package tour operation.

1972 – 1975  Systems Engineer, IBM World Trade Corporation

Appointed to assist in the computerisation of several small and large organisation in both the private and public sectors. This involved the conducting of surveys to determine computer needs, the design of appropriate operating systems environment, development of application programs and the provision of on-going management support for the installations.

Developed and implemented training programs for management, systems analysts, programmers and operators in various computer installations.

1971 – 1972  Assistant Accountant, Ghana Commercial Bank

Involved in various aspects of retail banking and appraisal of proposals for funding small businesses.

Working for businesses and community organisations and local and other statutory authorities demands that you know how they function, the best way is to serve on some of the numerous community organisations that exist and give your time to some of the most passionate causes.

1998 – 2010 Trustee, The London Community Foundation


2002 – 2006 Advisor Board Member, Black business Brokerage

2004 – 2006 Chair, GaDangme Nikasemo Asafo

1997 – 2001 Chairman, Ghana Union London

1992 – 1998 Executive Member, Brixton Business Forum

1994 – 1999 Governor, St Nicholas School, Purley

2001 – 2003 Council Member, London Civic Forum


Communities can be transformed if all work together, the public sector initiating projects, the private sector contributing to projects in the localities they operate in, civil society organisations participating to ensure that project targets are met and communities benefit.




Ubele Initiative


The tangible benefits of any association is subantial improvements to the fortunes of the organisation

In looking at a way forward we commissioned Equinox Consultancy to conduct a community needs assessment on our behalf. The Trustees were presented with a draft report in March 2014 and the implications are being explored to inform a strategic plan for WACA. We are aware that key priorities identified by participants in the survey are: Education, Health and wellbeing and arts and culture. The way forward will be a key theme for our AGM. We would like to extend our thanks to Equinox for the work completed and to WBC for funding the work.

Clive Saunders, ChairmanWatford African Caribbean Association

A key feature of this research is that the Black Caribbean community was involved in developing the recommendations that are put forward in this report. I hope these will be used as a foundation upon which the council can take action and embed practices that build stronger relationships and a better understanding of the Black Caribbean community in Lambeth. This report does not mark the end of a process but the beginning of a new way forward. I hope that the recommendations put forward will help the council work cooperatively not only with our established communities, but with our new communities too.

Cllr Lorna Campbell, Cabinent member for Equalities and Communities Lambeth Council

“the ACCF launched the business plan to the community and have received favourable response to the contents and the work programme. The plan was also presented to the leader, Leicester city council and his associates and they too offered their congratulations on the comprehensive research and vision.” 

ChairmanAfrican Caribbean Citizens Forum


It is always a pleasure to have a meaningful relationship with a client.  At the start of the process is a need to listen and determine what the clients objectives are and to design a methodology that ensures that the client is always at the centre of the process.



All you need to do is to send me a quick email with whatever you want and I will respond immediately.  I am here to help!

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13 thoughts on “Ade Sawyerr

  1. Your profile looks very interesting & inspiring. We should link interests soon.
    Your work on Dr. Kwame Nkrumah is very scholarly & informative. Must be read in-depth.
    Warm wishes, Afrakuma Bannerman
    M: 07722057489(11:50am-8:30pmGMT)
    Skype: afrakuma.b

  2. It’s a privilege to meet great men like you in life. Sir or better still, Daddy, I am really short of words. I don’t know what to say but to praise God I have met such a distinct scholar with an inspiring life. Now is the time I have gotten to know that it is true “sunshine comes to those who give; in their smiles and in their acts.” I quoted this because you have devoted your life towards the good cause of people and development of communities and it is justifiable that you are blessed because of your sacrificial life. God really bless you. It’s me Godfred Osei, the one who chatted with you a week today, 30 – 01-10 on face book.

  3. Greetings.

    I hope you can assist me in resolving these “burning questions on the pouring of libation among the Gadangme”.

    Preface: I have been to several out-dooring and other traditional Ga ceremonies in the diaspora. At each one of these, someone pours libation to “make present the presence of the ancestors [read saints] of the Ga state”. My understanding is that the “ancestors/saints/deities” [NOT gods] of Gadangme are territorial and essentially “confined” to the boundaries of the Ga state and that is why the ban on drumming is limited in many ways to the traditional boundaries of Accra or other Ga towns and not enforceable outside these boundaries. If the above “reading” is right, then here are my questions:

    My questions:

    1. Does deities/ancestors/saints of the Ga state have “universal jurisdiction over Gadagnme” similar to that of a cosmic Christ? In essence, – although deities/ancestors/saints belong to the spiritual world – how does one make a “territorial deity” universally present?

    2. Can the “deities/ancestors/saints” of the Ga state be invoked [made present] at Ga functions outside the “traditionally known Ga state”? In essence, which ancestors should Gadangme “make present” through the pouring of libation at an event in say Australia, Italy or England?

    Thanks for your help


    1. These are the kind of questions that are based on belief and opinion and i would think that there is no one correct answer.
      I would think that where funerals and outdoorings are concerned, there may not be a need to call on the different dieties, so do but i generally do not when i pour libation.
      For most other events i would if it is appropriate. definition of appropriate is ‘context sensitive’ again.

      I agree that the deities are related to the territory of GaDangme ‘from Obutu to Langma, from Langme to Ada Shwilao, from coast to the hinterland’.
      but if dieties are spirits then they should protect everywhere you are even on foreign soil and even across the seas. to be doubly sure i make it a practice to call on the dieties in the foreign land as well – so Naa Thames in London, Nii Potomac in Washington etc. etc.

      and so too the ancestors who are with you everywhere you go can be invoked at all times.

      remember that the liturgy of the libation form always suggests that ‘we cannot know all of you, we cannot call one and leave out others, so when we call on one we all calling on all of you in your thousands and everywhere that you are’
      this is my personal opinion

      would you want to come on the Gadangme forum to discuss this issues.
      i am taking the liberty to subscribe you.
      best regards

      1. I would not dabble in things that I know very little about, especially when it comes to spirit beings. Which ancestral spirits are we referring to? do we know who they are and what good did they do while they were on earth? More importantly do they have the power we are asking of them, to protect us?

        The Naa Thames and the Nii Potomac we are calling, what are they? We need to be careful; the reason being that if you put a stone down and you pour drink on it and pay reverence to it, with time a spirit goes into it and then it becomes a fetish and then you the practitioner become its priest, and then you have to be feeding it.

        Please tread with caution all.

  4. Nii Ade,

    You wrote:
    “I agree that the deities are related to the territory of GaDangme ‘from Obutu to Langma, from Langma to Ada Shwilao, from coast to the hinterland’; but if deities are spirits then they should protect everywhere you are even on foreign soil and even across the seas. To be doubly sure I make it a practice to call on the deities in the foreign land as well – so Naa Thames in London, Nii Potomac in Washington etc. etc.”

    My response to the above:
    Are you therefore, suggesting that “although [albeit] the Gadangme deities are considered essentially “territorial”, there is a sense in which they have a “universal presence” and can be “made present” universally through the medium of libation?

    If my ‘reading’ of this is right, then it begs the question “why would you want to be doubly-sure” as you suggest in your response by invoking Naa Thames and Nii Potomac? Are these considered “local deities” or ‘friendly affiliates’ of Gadangme? And why the need to be doubly sure? Of what? That if they are not ‘friendly affiliates’ of the Gadangme, one might incur their displeasure for being ignored in their own “territory”? Fascinating isn’t it?

    Secondly, you wrote:
    “remember that the liturgy of the libation form always suggests that ‘we cannot know all of you, we cannot call one and leave out others, so when we call on one we are calling on all of you in your thousands and everywhere that you are’ this is my personal opinion”

    My response:
    In the light of the above and the preceding paragraph of yours, who are the “ALL OF YOU,” for which “WE CANNOT CALL ONE AND LEAVE OUT OTHERS”?

    My reading of this liturgically and perhaps theologically and spiritually is that the ALL OF YOU are RESTRICTED to the numerous deities of the TRADITIONAL Ga State. And since it is almost impossible to name every deity in every locality at any particular event, the above citation is “invoked” as in “all protocols observed”. You see, as in the case of the Christian YAHWEH, deities can be very jealous and do not like to be slighted in public hence a safer way is the reference to “all protocols observed”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And further, that the ALL OF YOU, does not necessarily refer to the various natural elements – rivers, trees, other totems, wherever these are found – which house the “universal” spirits of the Gadangme.

    So, my submission is that:
    1. Until recently, it has been generally held that the Gadangme are “territorial” and
    so are their guardian deities. Perhaps, this gives credibility to two other suppositions: (a) explains why the nails or portions of the hair of a deceased person have had to be transported to the “native land” of the Gadangme to be buried were one to die outside the Ga State – so they can lie with their own ancestors.
    (b) explains why this may be part of the reasons for the Gadangme going “home” each year to celebrate HOMOWO?

    2. The deities have recently taken on a “universal” appeal partly because of the dynamics and demands of a “global village”, often making it impossible for every Ga child to be named in the “shia wulu” or everyone having to make the yearly pilgrimage to the “ancestral Ga home” for Homowo.

    And here, I note that liturgically HOMOWO is more than partaking in the festive meal especially if one considers the other elements of the festival including but not limited to “ngoor wala” and the traditionally set-aside day for the confession of family and individual sins, the asking of forgiveness from aggrieved persons and the cleansing of the sins of the community, culminating in the “tsese bumor” akin to the Day of Atonement celebration of the OT.

    What saith thou?

    1. NiiFio,
      Thinking about religious and cultural practice and trying to be rational about them has always presented me with a problem. firstly, there is the conditioning that makes you ‘believe’ in certain practices without an opportunity to analyse and rationalise. there is also the dualism that we have been left with in most of us being born into Christianity, a vestige of our colonial heritage; so the temptation to present analogies and comparisons with other religions.
      I suspect that if i had not been exposed to the Christian religion or know of any other religions, we would be having a different discussion; because though i will recognise the territorial remit of the deities, i would more gladly welcome the Thames and Potomac as ‘belonging’ to me. At present i recognise them more as an after thought!
      Our exposure to Christianity has also meant that we are forever conscious as to whether our practices, cultural and religious as they are are in conflict with our Christian teaching.
      this Friday, i will be leading a discuss on Kpodziemo to a group of second generation Ghanaians and i have suddenly realised in discussion with the gentleman who invited me that there are several things that i take for granted that i am unable to explain to someone who has not been initiated or conditioned.
      So there is a point at which religion morphs into culture and culture replaces religion as has happened with the spread of the charismatic churches who have led us into various clashes.
      Now returning to your questions.
      1. though the Gadangme deities started out being territorial, as our world view expands and as we more into other regions and continents we expect the same from them and we gladly welcome the spirits inherent in other sources of animism everywhere we go to.
      2. some cultural practices as the hair and nails of deceased people are explained away as evidence to the family back home if you cannot send the body home for burial. at least that is how i explained this to my nephew and niece when i insisted on these being taken from my late sister. so they remain more cultural than religious.
      3. Homowo has more cultural undertones than anything else in a foreign land. it becomes an affirmation of your gadangmeness and sets you up as recognising but not hanging on to your differences. and so it should be for most of us. You cannot have a Homowo without calling on the deities to ‘leave us more food’ even if the base of the kpokpoi is Indian Head and not the first corn from the Nmadumu.
      4. i have often asked friends on their birthday whether they have eaten ‘oto’. Most brush it off and most have even forgotten here and in Ghana that it is the dish for celebrating birthdays – they are more appreciative of sponge cake with lots of fruits and cream on top.

      So Niifio, like everything else in the Diaspora, what we achieve is more symbolic than authentic and that is as it should be!!
      but let me ask you this -is it the Christian YAHWEH or the Jewish YAHWEH?
      best regards

      1. Nii Ade,
        Just found your response to mine above – only after I had sent you an email to that effect. I have a couple of meetings this afternoon and so will probably not get back to a detailed reply until about tomorrow.

        However, let me say this in a brief response:
        1. Jewish vrs Christian Yahweh: That is a huge theological question. Strong arguments can be made on both sides pro and con. Will return to this later.
        2. You wrote: “like everything else in the Diaspora,what we achieve is more symbolic than authentic and that is as it should be”. There is a sense in which I agree with you and once more I would return to this later tomorrow to parse “symbolic” vrs “authentic”


  5. Mr. Sawyerr, I want to find out your view concerning the Gas, as to where they originally came from…

  6. Dear Ade: To change the subject from National History to (1) Haemoglobinopathy and (2) Tonal Linguistics both of which you know more about than most people. On Facebook I have invited you by name to attend a Sickle Cell Society Meeting in a week or two, and teach them what they need to know. You do not apologise for being an ACHIEVER who attended the very first International Conference on the Achievements of Sickle Cell Disease Patients. (2) I am also co-opting you on Facebook (with 3 others) to help me teach our kith and kin, and the rest of the world how our Mother Tongue should be written in order to recognise the difference between, say, “Someone jumped” and “Somebody’s gun” in the Mother Tongue. My invention can solve the problem, and I want you and 3 named others to stand by me as I educate the world. More later.

    1. Felix,
      will try and put together something about sickle cell later this year. i have had an interesting request from a lady who is developing tools for teaching the language as part of her PhD thesis in Canada. She is so fascinated about your monograph on the subject and i have asked her to make immediate contact with you. thank you for all the good work that you are doing in relation to giving a voice to the sickle cell patient

      1. Nii Ade Sawyerr. Could you please subscribe me to the Gadagme forum. I have been reading the posts and they are very educative. Dr Seth Borquaye. email is Thank

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