Ade has always been involved in community activity; in his youth he would organise clean-ups in front of the family house so that neighbourhood youth could indulge in their ‘gutter to gutter’ football games. On other occasions he would go to the beach to help the fisherfolk. For him, this was all play activity without pay. Nevertheless, they were tasks worthy of attention. So as soon as he started school, he joined the Cubs, became a Scout and eventually joined the Young Pioneer Movement. It was these movements that honed this passion for community work and trained him to be a leader.
In secondary school, he did not play much sport in school but was always a good cheerleader. Additionally, he was involved in community activity such as visiting the nearby village to organise Sunday school, and engage the younger people in homework activity. He was involved in so many support groups at university and played several roles in the business school associations and residential hall activities.
After university he immersed himself in local community activity involving the mobilisation of people in the community in support of social action and development issues and good causes. He helped to form the Accra Newtown Development Association at a time when there were social challenges within the local area. Discussions with the local councillor resulted in the formation of this organisation with other residents, the retired local school headmaster, a retired army officer and others were involved with me barely out of university as secretary. Our mandate was to keep the area functioning by monitoring the activities of the utility providers and liaising with them on behalf of the local community when there were problems and organising monthly general clean-ups of the area.
Ade became a peer counsellor at the Ghana Institute of Clinical Genetics and continued this work when he came to study at Manchester in 1981, helping to establish the Sickle Cell Circle in Manchester.
He has been a member of the Brixton Community Neighbourhood Association and the Black Business Brokerage, the Brixton Community Forum and the Brixton Business Forum playing executive roles in these. His community activism led him to become a Governor of a special needs school. He also acted as a trustee of the then newly set up South East London Community Foundation which he helped grow to become the London Community Foundation (LCF) Presently, LCF contributes over £50 million yearly to small community organisations in the London area.
From 1997 to 2001, he served as Chairman of Ghana Union London. He helped to increase the membership four-fold and developed a strategy for over 100 small Ghanaian groups to affiliate to the organisation.
He is a founding associate of The Ubele Initiative a social enterprise with a mission to contribute to the sustainability of the African Diaspora community. Through social leadership development, community enterprise and social action, Ubele incubates projects across the UK and creates partnerships with local, regional, national and international organisations to create innovative solutions for some of our most pressing social, economic and political concerns.
He also actively supports Star 100 is a Ghana-focused diaspora network, based in London. It was founded in the UK in June 2004 with the aim of connecting 100 likeminded professionals – hence the name.