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04.05.2006 General News

Diaspora Relations

By peacefm
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- President Kufuor gets it spot on
- A principle espoused by many members of the African Union
When President Kufuor announced his recent cabinet reshuffle, he also re-designated certain ministries. The Ministry of Information had "National Orientation" added to it and the Ministry of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City became Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations. ADM has unconfirmed information from usually reliable sources the "Modernization of the Capital" may be taken over as a special department of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA). Much misunderstood has been the addition of Diaspora Relations to the Ministry of Tourism, which some people suggest should have been a "desk" at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that is if such a "concern" was necessary at all. But ADM has gone into its archives and can confirm that the President's decision is much in line with thinking in the African Union concerning the African Diaspora. In its edition of Tuesday February 21 2006 ADM carried a story making reference to the African Diaspora as the sixth region of the African continent. An excerpt is reproduced below:

Abdoulaye Wade challenges African civil society
Prof. Atukwei Okai, Secretary-General of the Pan African Writers' Association (PAWA) has praised the campaign by President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, for the recognition and integration of the African Diaspora as the sixth region of the African continent.
Professor Okai said President Wade's 'concern and relentless' drive towards this objective demonstrates a moral leadership quality that is like a baobab tree that goes in search of its roots in order to water them.

Prof. Atukwei Okai, who is also the Head of GaDangme Education Department at the University of Education, Winneba, was speaking on behalf of his colleague-participants attending the 'First Meeting of the International Orientation Committee of the Third World Festival of Black Arts (Fesman III)' when they met President Abdoulaye Wade, in Dakar."

A management consultant has told ADM that Diaspora Relations operate on a different set of rules from the kind of rules that operate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and therefore would not be appropriate to be treated merely as a "desk" in that ministry. The appropriate ministry, he said, "is where the president has placed or the Ministry of Culture - if we had one".

The concept of the African Diaspora as the sixth region of the continent is widely accepted by leaders of the African Union and different countries of the union, in the coming months and years would be working towards its attainment. Ghana, in this instance has once more taken the lead in giving meaning to a continental initiative.