Ghana is the safest country in West Africa, Akufo-Addo tells diasporans

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described Ghana as the safest country in West Africa and asked Africans in the diaspora to visit and explore Ghana during the Year of Return.

Addressing the House of Assembly in St Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday, the President said: “In today’s world, where sadly crime and terror have become part of everyday life, I can say that Ghana is certainly the safest country in the West African region, and remains one of the few places on Earth where we are not embarrassed to see ourselves as each other’s keeper.”

Ghana’s USP

He said the most attractive selling point of Ghana is and has always been her people.

“The welcome that you find in Ghana, with all due respect to you in this House, is unique, and like none anywhere else,” he declared.

He added, “Our foods are interesting, and tend to be once sampled, never forgotten. I suspect I do not need to remind you that we are the home of kente, the fabric that has come to define the black race everywhere, and we lead in fashion on the continent.

“Our music is catchy and unforgettable, and the drums and rhythms make us stand out.”

Year of Return

President Akufo-Addo told the House that the Year of Return will be a bridge to build stronger ties between Ghana, other countries on the African continent, and the African diaspora.

“To those of you who would want to come and stay, we say, ‘You are most welcome.’ Africa is your home, and Ghana would be happy to serve as the bridge between the diaspora and the African continent.”

The President told the Vincentian House that 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of the first recorded arrival of West African slaves in America.

“We are remembering the anniversary to underline our determination that never again will Africa allow herself and her people to be subjected to such an obscene, degrading and dehumanising catastrophe”, President Akufo-Addo said.

“Never again shall it be that a dozen or so armed foreigners, with the connivance of a few of our own people, would reduce Africans to traded commodities,” he said.

Africans’ contribution

With the African Union designating the African diaspora as the AU’s sixth region, President Akufo-Addo stressed: “They might have started as slaves, but the contribution of Africans to the development of the Americas and Caribbean is matchless.”

With Africans in the diaspora providing the labour that built America’s railways and heavy industry, the President also referred to Africans’ role in innovation, science, sport, music, the arts, and the fashioning of the Americas and the Caribbean.

Inventions that Africans in the Americas have to their name, he said, include the fibre-optic cable, pacemaker, blood bank, gas mask, traffic signals, world’s fastest computer, voice over the internet protocols and closed-circuit television.

In the sporting world, President Akufo-Addo said Africans in the diaspora have shown they are not afraid of hard work and discipline, taking football, athletics, basketball and many other games to new heights through the efforts of descendants of those who were forcibly transported to the Americas.

“It says on the last door leading out of the dungeon from the slave castles that dot our coastline, ‘Door of No Return’. Let us show we can return, we have returned, and we have conquered the humiliation and degradation of 400 years ago,” he said.

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