A high-level forum has been held in Ghana as part of an initiative by the United Nations to advance the rights of people of African descent by promoting recognition, justice and development.
Convened by UN Under-Secretary General, and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Dr Natalia Kanem, the forum centred on the theme, “People of African Descent: Accelerating the Commitment for Recognition, Advancement of Rights, Justice and Development” the meeting is aimed at promoting dialogue and advocacy on thematic areas that would enhance inclusion and the wellbeing of People of African Descent.
The forum which was held on Friday precedes this year’s International Day for People of African Descent which will be observed on August 31, 2022.
The inaugural celebration of International Day for People of African Descent was hosted by the Government of Costa Rica in San Jose in August 2021.
This followed a resolution adopted by the United Nations based on a proposal by Costa Rica to observe the day in recognition of the history, legacy and contributions of the African diaspora worldwide.
UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres described the day as “a celebration of the enormous contributions of people of African descent to every field of human endeavour,” and “a long-overdue recognition of the profound injustices and systemic discrimination that people of African descent have endured for centuries and continue to confront today.”
Ghana’s historic relationship with the African diaspora is significant, considering its central involvement in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
This history, coupled with the recent ‘Year of Return’ and ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative by the Government of Ghana has positioned Ghana as a vital entry point for Africans in the diaspora.
Visits to historic and cultural sites
To provide an experience of touristic sites that are indispensable to the history of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the delegation visited the Elmina Castle, Assin Manso Slave Market and Slave River Park.
Dr Natalia Kanem, UNFPA’s Executive Director is the UN Secretary-General’s Champion to further the agenda of people of African heritage.
While in Ghana, she is also expected to engage with traditional leaders by paying a courtesy call to the King of Akwamu, His Royal Majesty Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III.
Highlights of the events included: A High-level Forum on People of African Descent; a courtesy call to the President and the Vice-President of Ghana and a field visit to assess Nana Afrakuma II’s Vocational Institute for Adolescent Mothers in Akwamu.
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