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17.02.2005 Diaspora News

Ghana Exhibition - Remarks By Ambassador Fritz K. Poku

By Embassy of Ghana , US

...Temple Visitors Center, Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints, Washington, D.C. I would like first of all to express my thanks and appreciation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for honoring Ghana at this Exhibition on the occasion of the Black History Month. I am also grateful for the opportunity to make a few remarks.

My Good Friends, some time ago it was erroneously held that the African race had not created any kind of civilization or made any contribution to our human heritage. But thanks to the works of African American intellectual stalwarts like Dr. Carter Woodson and African leaders like Dr. J.B. Danquah and Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, the world has been enlightened by the impressive contributions of the peoples of African descent to the history, culture and civilization of the “homo sapiens.”

The Black History Month affords us the opportunity to reflect not only on the historical past, but also the modern day achievements, and contributions of African and African Americans, to our common patrimony of human culture. It has affirmed our visible presence and participation in intellectual discourse on history, culture, civilization and anthropological studies.

Through conferences, seminars, lectures, symposia and exhibitions, such as that mounted at this Center, the Black History Month seeks to climax its continuous scientific study of the African experience and to rectify the apparent ignorance and distorted history of the black race.

My Good Friends, the direct nexus between African Americans and the continent of Africa is self evident. Apart from blood and historical links to Africa, the early struggles of African leaders for political independence from their colonial masters as well as their Pan African dreams and ideals struck a chord of resonance with their kith and kin in the diaspora.

Indeed Dr. W.E.B. Dubois, an important African American civil rights leader took up residence in Ghana, which in 1957 became the first country south of the Sahara to achieve independence. This was in recognition of Ghana as the Mecca of Pan Africanism which has to this day provided a policy platform for promoting unity, integration and peace in Africa. Significantly, it was at the Memorial Center, named for Dr. Dubois, that the U.S. Ambassador in Ghana last week launched the African American Heritage Month in my country.

Here in Washington, the Ghana Embassy is proud to join in the commemoration of this year's Heritage Month in the United States. We have at this Exhibition, items of historical, cultural and economic value. The items which form part of our rich and diverse cultural heritage comprise among others, Kente cloths, beads, gold jewelry, stools, drums, cocoa pods and timber species.

These offer economic and tourist attractions and together with Ghana's new brand as a democratic, peaceful and stable country with immense investment opportunities, you have enough incentives to visit Ghana. The Embassy of Ghana will be delighted to facilitate your visit as we have already done for thousands of Americans of all stations of life.

I thank you for your attention.

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