Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has re-affirmed the Government’s commitment to championing the objectives of the International Decade for People of African Descent as envisioned by the United Nations General Assembly.
The UN General Assembly declared the International Decade for People of African Descent from 2015-2024 to advance three key pillars – recognition, justice, and development of the Afro descent.
It is expected that countries would develop national programmes and action plans for full and effective implementation of the Decade.
Vice President Bawumia, delivering the keynote address at the High-Level Diasporan Forum in Accra, on Friday, urged all Africans to embrace people of African Descent because “we’re one people, one blood”.
“Afro Descent are Africans, no matter where they come from, don’t mind your nationality, you have got your identity of an African,” the Vice President said.
In that regard, the African Union took a decision to recognise African Diasporans as the Sixth Region of Africa to emphasise the representative relevance of the Group to Africa in the global space, he said.
The event was on the theme: “People of African Descent: Accelerating the Commitment for Recognition, Advancement of Rights, Justice and Development,” which provided a platform to dispassionately discuss challenges affecting African Diasporans and find solutions to them to foster stronger bond of unity towards developing the African Continent.
In attendance were Vice President of the Republic of Costa Rica, Epsy Campbell Barr, who is the first woman of African descent to hold that high position on the American Continent, and Dr Natalia Kanem, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Other dignitaries were Dr Erieka Bennett, the Head of Mission, Diaspora African Forum, Mr Charles Abani, the UN Resident Coordinator, and Mrs Claudia Turbay Quintero, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana, who is also the Columbian Ambassador to Ghana.
The Vice President saluted all people of African Descent for their bravery and resilience in resisting all forms of racial discrimination and contributing their quota towards development worldwide.
“As tribute to their tireless efforts of letting the voices of people of African descent to be heard, the world has seen the proliferation of racial equity bodies on national levels,” he said.
“This action has guided the United Nations Working Group of Experts on the People of the African Descent to perform its mandate of studying their problems and proposing solutions to complex narratives,” Dr Bawumia stated.
On the domestic tourism sector, Dr Bawumia indicated that government’s priority was to build a tourism industry that was resilient and sustainable to support tourism businesses and ensure safe return of international tourists.
He recounted the successes chalked under “The Year of Return” in 2019, and pledged government’s resolve to ensuring that the “Beyond the Year of Return” initiative became fruitful, despite experiencing setbacks from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Vice President of Costa Rica, Epsy Campbell Barr, underscored the need for African countries to forge strategic alliances with the Diasporan African Descent to fast track development.
She mentioned exchange programmes in scientific research, innovation, health and education as some areas that could accelerate national development and the Continent as a whole.