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.


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. 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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