Akwaaba - Welcome  

My roots, my heritage, and my history:  

My legal name is  Albert Gyan. Both my grandfather and father were baptized Albert. Following that family tradition, my son was also baptized Albert. However, we all have our traditional Fante names. I was born on Monday into an Ahanta tribe in the Western Region of Ghana, thus my first traditional name is Kojo (Monday born). My second traditional name is: Krɔm the name of a patrilinear great ancestor.  The Ahantas, my mother's ethnic community, are part of the Akan people who inhabit southern Ghana and the adjacent parts of the Ivory Coast. So my mother tongue is Fante, which belongs to the Kwa language spoken by the Akans. Ashanti is the second main Akan dialect.  

I am a social entrepreneur who is passionate about social advocacy with a knack for innovative solutions to foster positive social change. My life mission has been dedicated to advancing the progressive agenda of our generation. This is guided by values rooted in my family's homegrown moral convictions and affirmed by the United Nations Charter.  I do postulate that:  "With so much treasure and talent at our generation's disposal, it is unconscionable that any human being should wallow in abject poverty."   

 A Champion for Economic Justice and Global Solidarity

For over three decades, I've been on a journey fueled by a simple desire: to make the world a little more fairer, and a little more just. Growing up in the shadows of the Cape Coast and Elimina dungeons (castles) in Ghana, where the tragic human history of slavery loomed large, and witnessing that legacy of injustice sparked a fire in me, a yearning to amplify the voices of the marginalized and fight for a fairer share of the pie. It was in Shama, my Grandma’s village, where the Europeans first came ashore on the Gulf of Guinea. On finding gold on those coastal lands, they named the state the Gold Coast. I wouldn’t call myself a crusader, just someone who rolled up their sleeves and got to work to help right the wrongs of yesteryears. I've spent years collaborating with communities around the globe, from advocating for refugees in Europe to campaigning for debt relief for African nations. It hasn't been an easy vocation, there have been plenty of bumps along the road, but seeing the impact of collective effort keeps me going.

The Jubilee Africa Campaign, for instance, stands out as a moment of incredible solidarity. Witnessing dozens of diverse groups from Europe come together with Africans to fight for economic justice – that was truly special. And while I pride myself in the role I played, it was the collective power of countless individuals that made it happen.

Of course, it's not all about grand campaigns and advocacy initiatives at the European Parliament, the US Congress, and the United Nations. Sometimes, the most meaningful change comes from building bridges and creating spaces for understanding and collaboration. That's why I'm involved with the Sandy Spring Slave Museum, the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, and the Advocacy Network for Africa (AdNA) – creating safe places to learn from the past and work together for a brighter future.

Looking back, I'm humbled by the incredible people I've met and the experiences I've shared. There's still so much to be done, so many voices waiting to be heard. But as long as we keep listening, keep learning, and keep working together, I believe we can build a world where everyone has the chance to thrive and achieve our God-given potential.

That's my hope, my mission, and the story I'm still writing, one bridge, one conversation, one small step at a time.

I look forward to partnering with like-minded individuals and groups, to work on life-changing ventures for the betterment of humanity.  

my journey

 my "glocal" advocacy

Brussels Action Days 2000

Kairos Europa 


Jubilee South 

G8 - Genoa 2001

Genoa - G8

Geneva ET


a Self-Portrait

Albert has dedicated his professional career to social advocacy; amplifying the voice of the  marginalized ("voiceless") to right wrongs and injustices. Schooled in Catholic social teachings at an early age, Albert is committed to participatory advocacy in the solution-seeking process (critical pedagogy), and is ardent about articulating the ethical and moral imperatives of socio-economic issues to instigate political action. His formative years at  St. Augustine's College in Ghana where he served as a House Prefect and the President of the Voluntary Works Association, were shaped by the theme: "preferential option for the poor". During his graduate education, Albert served as the National Vice-President of the International Movement of Catholic Students. He began his professional career with the Community Improvement Units program of the Ghana National Service Secretariat, where he strived to mobilize the power of the community to create nuclei for rural development across the West African nation. 

While pursuing postgraduate studies in Germany, Albert served as a trusted mentor and counselor to foreign students and refugees at the Catholic Students’ Center. He identified and leveraged resources offered by the Berlin archdiocese to advocate and assist ethnic minorities and refugees to engage in addressing the then growing racial tension. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, his advocacy activities expanded beyond the national borders to reach refugees and migrants throughout Europe. He helped to build and manage a coalition of European organizations working towards creating inclusive, multicultural societies. 

With conviction and optimism that; persistent advocacy, activism, and agitation within the dominant development paradigm will get the marginalized their rightful place at the decision-making table to advance their interest, Albert has been working in some 25 countries alongside grassroots groups advocating at the European Parliament, the U.S. Congress and at the United Nations. He served as the United Nations Representative for Church World Service, a consultant to the World Council of Churches, and represented the Anglican Observer to the United Nations on Economic Justice and Climate Change issues.

Never shying away from "speaking truth to power", Albert has used several speaking opportunities at local and international arenas to advance this cause. As the spokesperson of the Africa Caucus during the United Nations Financing for Development process and the Monterrey Conference, he initiated town-hall conversations with heads of UN delegations including President Abdoulaye Wade, of the Republic of Senegal - then chair of the African Group. In 1998, whilst leading a 12 member delegation from Europe to Ghana, Albert made a significant contribution to the launch of the Jubilee Africa campaign, chairing the final session of the launch event. He subsequently actively participated in the building of the international Jubilee Debt Cancellation movement.  

Albert works with ecumenical networks, churches, social movements, trade unions, and non-governmental organisations on issues of economic justice and the mechanisms of impoverishment. Presently, he is dedicated to advocating for international trade and financial systems that are fair and truly representative of all peoples via the United Nations Financing for Development process. He provides advisory and capacity-building services for advocacy at the United Nations on Financing for Development for civil society organizations from the Global South, with a special focus on Africa.

 Social Enterprises  

The power of the "free market" should be harnessed, not resisted in the quest to meet shared social goals and for optimizing stewardship of global public goods.

The commercial tools and processes of the marketplace are tried and true for maximizing commercial profits, often at great social and environmental cost. These same instruments can and should be adapted to meet shared social goals and for optimizing stewardship of global public goods for  the Common Good. With that conviction, Albert  has since 1991 been investing in commercially viable social ventures in Ghana. The pitfalls of overseeing commercial ventures in Africa from overseas are well documented and often cited as what not to do when investing capital in Africa. As many African diasporans will attest; absentee farming, as absentee investing is a well discouraged practice. Albert has a few personal anecdotes of his own, which would discourage any risk averse investor, however as an eternal optimist with a pragmatic perspective, he steadily soldiers on.

Any commercial venture, big or small, that adopts an accounting framework with the goal of achieving success in all three dimensions of sustainability namely; social, environmental and financial (in other words; takes care of people, planet and profits), has the potential to infuse the marketplace with a positive culture of sustainability. Such infectious ventures encourage many more to embrace the triple bottom line accounting as the accepted norm for evaluating a firm's  performance. In all his ventures, Albert strives for sustainability and honors the promise of Ubuntu, an economy of solidarity -- "My humanity is inextricably bound up in yours"*. As ambitious and ominous as his ventures may be perceived, their execution is very deliberative,  anchored in sound business practices and guided by the  African proverb: “Never test the depth of a river with both feet.”    

  Community Building

Providing management leadership within social movements and grassroots initiatives has been the tightrope walk of Albert's career. This is akin to the tension between the private and social equilibrium in the market. In pursuing social and economic justice goals, the tension between the gains in applying regimental business management practices and the laissez faire management approach, which has often led to a delayed adoption of technologies and practices of the marketplace, can not be overemphasized. The fear is that, these instruments  of the "business as usual world' have a corrupting influence and often undermine the social and environmental agenda. The end result of such scepticism and the resulting hesitations is the slow and often late adaptation of groundbreaking technologies and processes. This has hindered the efficient use of the limited resources available to the organizations. Mindful of the corrupting nature of this single minded culture -- profits --  the process of pursuing social and environmental objectives and adhering to principles of business efficiency in management and administration, has been a very delicate balancing act.

Albert has full heartedly embraced this challenge again and again to provide management solutions and leadership for ventures in Ghana and all his hands-on operations in over 20 countries in Europe, Africa and the Americas.  His versatile education and training as well as his great proficiency in using computer systems and information technology has been an invaluable asset. Albert believes that, adapting the tools of the "business as usual"  marketplace in pursuing the progressive agenda of our generation is about the most pragmatic attempt at realizing the goal of poverty eradication and the preservation of each and every human being's dignity. 


Ubuntu: I am because you are