Vice-President Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia has called for the combination of resources and energy for Africa to become developed economically and self dependent.
He said the issues of building self sustaining independent economy was key for all and could not be done individually and called for stakeholders including the citizenry coming together to build it.
Vice President Bawumia said the issues of building self sustaining independent economy was key for all and could not be done individually. This, he said, called for stakeholders including the citizenry coming together to build it “and particularly the resources we have in the Diaspora.
Dr Bawumia made the call in Accra on Tuesday at the opening of the African Diaspora Homecoming Conference.
The conference, which is slated for March 5 to March 11, seeks to evoke the spirit and memory of 1957, when Ghana’s independence, which was a source of pride for peoples of African descent, was attained,
He said the link with the Diaspora was very key to development and tapping through the human resources, investment resources, trade resources, science and technology.
“Our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora have brought it, is very significant that we can make a lot of strides and make up for separation that took up during slavery and colonialism,” he said. Dr Bawumia said notwithstanding all the ups and down, Ghanaians were going through what remained unshakeable was the country’s heritage and culture.
He said heritage and culture was the one thing nobody could compete with from the world being a unique commodity and it needed to be held dearly by Ghanaians and sure it shined through economic development. “We need to bring back that ties that was broken for the Africa continent,” he said.
Dr Bawumia called on Africans to understand that the way they were looked at in the Diaspora and on the continent was much linked, and the ‘underlying link’ was the economic development of Africa. “No matter what we do out there in the Diaspora, we are going to be seen in the backdrop of Africa,” he said.
Madam Johanna Onkonkor Svaniker, the President of Heritage and Cultural Society Africa (HASCA), and Chairperson of the conference, said the event aimed at celebrating Ghana’s 60th anniversary of independence in a significant and meaningful way, the achievements of Ghanaians and indeed all peoples of African descent in the Diaspora and the achievements of the young nation Ghana after 60 years of independence.
She said Ghana being one of the freest, safest and most stable countries on the African continent was good news because Ghana’s heritage and history had always been significant beyond the shores of Ghana.
“The fortunes of Ghana have always been linked to the destiny of the continent therefore our independence celebration can never be complete with a Diaspora Homecoming to celebrate with us,” she said.
Madam Onkonkor Svaniker therefore called on the citizenry to celebrate what they had achieved in the face of adversity saying: “Let’s keep the flame alight of the spirit of 1957, let us all celebrate the heritage and culture of Africa,” she said.
Mrs Catherine Afeku, the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the conference was promoting economic emancipation through culture and the deepening of arts and culture through HASCA.
She urged Ghanaians and the Ministry to tap into the power of Diaspora by focusing on touristic opportunities across the continent. “I call on all to be ambassadors of the Ghanaian story by celebrating the tenacity of African Diaspora,” she said.
Mrs Afeku noted that going forward there would be a partnership programme between the Diaspora and the Ministry to show the power of the return of the Ghanaian history through an investment and culture forum.
She called on other partners to get involved as the tourist sector was seriously not developed. “Let us join as we enter the 70th decade of Ghana, let us tell a story,” she said.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Lord Paul Boateng, a representative of the House of Lords, United Kingdom, lauded Ghana for being a beacon for the rest of the country and charged leaders to build intra African trade that would invest in the youth.
“It is important for leaders to use the 60th anniversary as a goal to build sustainable life and recognise the contribution of the young people,” Mr Boateng said.
The seven days conference is organised by HASCA and partnered by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, National Commission for Civic Education and the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation, brought participants from London, Paris, Washington DC, New York, LA and beyond to engage and reflect on Ghana’s achievements over the past six decades, celebrate Ghanaian excellence at home and abroad and form a common vision for the progress of people of Africa descent.
It also offered participants the opportunity to build networks for trade, commerce and investment on the continent. There were panel discussions on legacy, politics in historical context, education and leadership, entrepreneurship, innovation across borders, creative arts among others with Mr Boateng, being one of the speakers.