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29.07.2006 Africa

Africans And The Diaspora Must Collaborate For Development - Jake

By GNA
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Mr Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, Minister for Tourism and Diasporan Relations, has called for closer collaboration between Africans and those of African descent outside the continent to attract investment and development into Africa.

He said the slave trade robbed the African continent of its human resources but the opportunity now existed for those Africans who now found themselves outside the continent to plough back their investment capacities and other expertise into their mother continent.

Mr Obetsebi Lamptey was addressing a durbar at Keta in the Volta Region last Thursday to welcome 10 slave descendants who, as part of this year's slave emancipation day celebration in Ghana, were touring parts of the country in an effort to retrace their roots.

The visitors, mainly from the Virgin Islands in America, visited the old slave market at Atorkor near Keta, Fort Prinzenstein built by the Danes in 1784 and bought by the English in 1850 where slaves were assembled before being shipped away. They also visited Togbe James Ocloo of Keta where they were given Anlo names to mark what was termed a journey back home.

Mr Obetsebi Lamptey said Africans must be reconciled for the wrong deed in the slave trade in which Africans themselves actively participated. "We need to enter the future with true love, bond of friendship and freedom for each one and bring back the experiences and wealth of our brothers scattered all over the world to rebuild Ghana and Africa", he said.

Mr Shelley Moorhead, President of the African Caribbean Reparation and Resettlement Alliance (ACRRA), who led the team, said they were committed to retracing their roots so as to help in rebuilding the continent.

Mr Victor Gbeho, a former Foreign Minister and Mr Dan Abodakpi, Member of Parliament for Keta hailed the occasion and said Keta is significant to the Virgin Islands as a good number of slaves were either captured or were shipped from Keta to that Island.

Other members of the team include Mr Mark Banarby, Chief of Staff of the Legislature of the Virgin Island and Dr Carlyle Corbin, Minister of State for External Affairs, Virgin Island.

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