Historical Meeting Between The Kingdom Of Ashanti And The Accompong Maroons In Jamaica
Colonel Ferron Williams returned back to the island this weekend with a delegation of Accompong Maroons whom he had led to the Kingdom of Ashanti, Ghana, for a historical meeting with the Asantehene.
Maroon delegation from left to right: Timothy McPherson, Toni-Ann Williams, Cassandra Wall, Col. Ferron Williams, Opal Dickson-Clarke, Novadean Newsome, Julette Osbourne
The Maroon delegation was invited as the Asantehene’s guests of honour during the Akwasidae Festival, which is the Kingdom’s most important celebration. The King of Ashanti, Otumfou Osei Tutu II, described the meeting as being a very important “spiritual re-unification” particularly because the Maroons in Accompong trace their ancestry back to the Akan and Ashanti people. “These are my people, they have come back home,” he said when introducing the delegation.
In addition to meeting with the King, the Maroon delegation was also welcomed by President John Mahama. Colonel Ferron Williams has described the trip as a major milestone in African and Caribbean relations, highlighting the important role that traditional leaders can and must play in achieving an African Renaissance.
Accompong’s Colonel Ferron Williams (left) meeting Ghana’s President John Mahama
During the three-day official visit, the Accompong Maroon delegation enjoyed several sites, among which was a tour of the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum as well as the Cape Coast Slave Castle.
In addition to the cultural re-unification between the Accompong Maroons and the Kingdom of Ashanti, the visit also ventured into the economic sphere. Accompong’s Minister of Finance, Timothy Elisha McPherson Jr., signed a trade agreement with the Kingdom of Ashanti that would establish a new era of pan-African cooperation on various fronts, particularly in the area of climate change mitigation and renewable energy finance. Minister McPherson said, “Accompong’s climate change initiative has become the driving force behind all of our current activities.
We created the Central Solar Reserve Bank of Accompong as a unique and modern institution to facilitate renewable energy finance, and now through this trade agreement we will be granted access to our ancestral land of Ghana as well as the whole ECOWAS region. So this is truly a great step for Accompong both on the economic and cultural front”.
Colonel Ferron Williams described the trade agreement as a landmark event not only for the Accompong Maroons but for the whole Diaspora. He said, “we are oldest sovereign Africans in the Western hemisphere, and it is very appropriate that this agreement be established with us. We do this in honour of our ancestors who fought for our freedom.”
Established in 1738-9 through its peace treaty with the British, the Accompong Maroons are the only Maroons in Jamaica who still have full sovereignty. The community is committed to a transformation from a cultural historic relic into an economic force within the pan-African Renaissance.
Accompong's Colonel Ferron Williams (Left) meeting Ghana's President John Mahama