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19.01.2006 General News

Jake confers on the "Joseph" project


Accra Jan. 19, GNA - Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City on Thursday conferred with Mr Fabrizio De Agostini, Italian Ambassador to Ghana on a healing concert slated for 2007 to climax the "Joseph Project". The "Joseph Project" aimed at facilitating the spiritual return of the more than 30 million Africans in the Diaspora to Ghana, would be officially launched in 2007.

The discussions, which centred on the healing concert, followed the reconciliation between Israel and the Roman Catholic Church because of the role of the church in the holocaust against Jews during the Second World War.

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey expressed interest in the reconciliation processes and said Ghana was planning something similar in the form of the "healing concert" to reconcile Africans in the Diaspora and those in the homeland.

The "Joseph Project," would among other objectives make the 21st century, the African century by reconciling African people. Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said there would be a rehearsal of the concert this year with people from the Virgins Island in the United States and informed the Ambassador that about 200,000 people were shipped from the shores of Ghana and only a 100,000 arrived in the Virgins Island, which means that 50 per cent of the people died on the way. The concert will assemble traditional rulers of ethnic groups engaged in the Atlantic slave trade across the West and Central coast of Africa whose people still have living memories of being hunted by slave raiders.

He called for the Ambassador's assistance in the processes that led to their reconciliation and requested for a detailed procedure to help make the reconciliation a success.

Mr Fabrizio De Agostini, who agreed to help with the process, expressed interest in tourism development in Ghana and said he was happy that Italy was not involved in the activities of the Slave Trade, saying, "Italy has a clean conscience".

He also expressed interest in the exchange programmes where students in the Diaspora come to Ghana, learn about their history, and said exchange of students would be a field to explore. He expressed the hope that there would be further cooperation between the Embassy and the Ministry.