Ghana warmly welcomes home diasporan Africans

Publié le par hort

Pilgrims from the Diaspora welcomed at Elmina

General News of Friday, 27 July 2007

Elmina, July 27, GNA, Several Africans from the Diaspora, who undertook a pilgrimage to the Northern sector of the country to trace the former slave routes as part of PANAFEST/Emancipation day celebration, were on Friday welcomed at a solemn ceremony at the forecourt of the Elmina castle.

At the ceremony dubbed the 'Akwaaba' ceremony, the visitors, many of them African-Americans, were given the traditional local dish of mashed yam as well as palm wine to drink.This took place after libation had been offered to the gods for their safe arrival, amidst traditional drumming and dancing and acrobatic display. The 'pilgrims' in turn, hugged Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, Omanhene of the Edina Traditional Area and other traditional rulers and the District Chief Executive of Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirim.

Dr Leonard Jeffries, a leading member of the Africans in the Diaspora, described the ceremony, as a replicate of a re-union, when family members come together, during occasions, amidst drumming and dancing, offering of libation and performance of other rituals. He said the theme for the festival, "re-uniting the African family," was very significant and that it dawned on everybody to re-unite Africans in the Diaspora and their brothers and sisters at home.

Dr Jefferies said there was no doubt that Africans in the Diaspora and those on the continent were one family and it was therefore, necessary that these two groups pooled their resources towards the development of Africa.He stressed the need for those in the Diaspora to come back to Africa and invest in areas like industry and health care delivery, for accelerate the development.

Mr Asmah briefed the visitors on "the Elmina 2015 Strategy." a development programme aimed at enhancing socio-economic conditions in the area. He urged them to return to their roots and invest towards the socio-economic development of the country.Mr. Asmah said the 2015 strategy aimed at developing tourism and education in the district, saying, the strategy opened, "the flood gates to our brothers and sisters" in to come to the country.

He said the presence of Africans in the Diaspora reminded Africans "with pain, how their ancestors were stolen from their birthplace." Nana Conduah expressed satisfaction that the Diasporans were returning to their roots and noted that as people with one destiny, it was imperative that they came together to champion a new course for Africa. He urged the Africans in the Diaspora to avail themselves of the dual citizenship introduced by government to settle in the country to help in its development. Nana Conduah gave the assurance that traditional rulers were in the area were ready to offer land for investment to any African in the Diaspora. Earlier, in the day, about 47 of the pilgrims embarked on a boat ride from the "door of no return" at the Cape Coast castle, to the Elmina castle before the commencement of the Akwaaba ceremony.

Publié dans contemporary africa

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