The Chairman of the Rastafari Continental Council (RCC), Ahuma Bosco Ocansey, also known as Daddy Bosco, has commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the people of Ghana for setting aside this year as the Year of Return in Ghana.
He gave the commendation in a closing address at the Second Rastafari Continental Council Conference held in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
President Akufo-Addo, in Washington D.C. in the United States in September 2018, declared and formally launched the ‘Year of Return, Ghana 2019’ for Africans in the diaspora, giving fresh impetus to the quest to unite Africans on the continent with their brothers and sisters in the diaspora.
According to Daddy Bosco, the RCC was poised to contribute meaningfully to the development of Africa through its six commissions on education, agriculture, health and nutrition, culture and trade and repatriation.
The commissions came up with strategic plans to address the needs of Rastafari on the continent and elsewhere during the conference.
In her keynote address on Rastafari and African Unity, Empress Marina Blake, a United States-based Attorney, urged her colleagues to continue to work hard to achieve the aspirations of the numerous Rastafari worldwide.
She said over the years, Rastafari had contributed to the African liberation struggle.
The current generation of Rastafari should, therefore, continue to play a vanguard role in the continent’s emancipation movement.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ziblim Iddi, assured the conference of the President’s determination to welcome the African diaspora to Ghana, adding that more diasporans would be granted Ghanaian citizenship this year to mark the Year of Return.
The Antigua and Barbuda Ambassador to Ethiopia, His Excellency Lennox Franklyn Frank I Francis, commended the RCC for a successful conference and wished them well in their future endeavours.
A representative of the Barbadian government, Mr Phil Phillips, advised Africans to look to the Caribbean for trading links since there were viable markets worth exploring there.
The conference elected Ahuma Bosco Ocansey as Chairman, with Thau Thau Haramanuba of South Africa as Deputy Chairman, Myke Pam of Nigeria as Spokesperson, and Queen Mother Moses Marcia Stewart of Jamaica as Deputy Spokesperson.
There were solidarity messages from the Caribbean Rastafari Organisation and the Black Star Line Cooperative Credit Union.
Over 120 participants from South Africa, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Jamaica, United States of America, St Vincent, Guadeloupe and Barbados attended the conference.
The Black Star Line Cooperative Credit Union and the Rastafari Council of Ghana were among the sponsors of the conference.