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30.12.2005 General News

Africans must be proud of themselves - Minister

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Accra, Dec. 30, GNA - Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, on Friday said Africans all over the world must adopt the slogan "I am black and I am proud," since the African spirit was a powerful and positive spirit. He said the power of an African was stronger than any other ethnic power hence the need for Africans to be proud of their roots and that Africans had everything to be proud of.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey was addressing five African-American children from the United States, who have been made junior ambassadors of culture by a United States organization to enable them to know more about African history and culture.

The children were made ambassadors after many seminars and workshops on culture and ethnicity.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said Africans must develop Africa by uniting and educating one another to enable those in the Diaspora to know that Africa was not synonymous with evil.

The Minister also spoke about the "Joseph Project" a project aimed at uniting the African family especially those living in the Diaspora by facilitating the spiritual return of the more than 30 million Africans in the Diaspora to Ghana.

The Project to be officially launched in 2007 would among other objectives make the 21st century, the African century by reconciling Africans.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey urged that African children born in the Diaspora be encouraged to visit Africa at least once in their lifetime to know the true history of Africa and to learn more about the culture. African-Americans living in the Diaspora must know about the uniqueness of the African culture.

He urged the children to become ambassadors of Africa back in the United States and to encourage other African American children to visit Ghana.

The Children greeted the Minister's speech with a spontaneous applause and said until they visited Africa they had very negative information about the Continent.

"In the United States there is negative stereotype information about Africa bordering on poverty, hunger and war but we have seen a completely different picture about Ghana," they said. Ms Mazie Green Holland, accompanying the children, explained that the children, who are studying history and culture, needed to bridge the information gap about what they were taught in school and the actual things they needed to know.

She described their experience in Ghana as wonderful and promised that another set of children would be brought to Ghana next year. Another group of Africans living in the Diaspora visited the Minister to know more about the Joseph Project.

The group led by a Ghanaian, Mr Hughes Aryee had members from New Orleans, South Africa, the Caribbean and the United States. They expressed their readiness to educate people about the Project and expressed the hope that they could bring about 1,000 African Americans to visit the country in 2007.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey, excited about the initiative, mentioned that New Orleans played an important role in promoting the African culture and promised them his unflinching support