In Costa Rica for the 1st International Day for People of African Descent

In Costa Rica for the 1st International Day for People of African Descent

At the maiden celebration of the International Day for Persons of African Descent in San Jose, Costa Rica.

On August 31, 2022 and for the first time in history, the world celebrated the International Day for Persons of African Descent. I was privileged to coordinate and steer the participation of the Government of Ghana at the celebration in close collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Creative Arts and Akwamuman Traditional Council.

The Ghanaian delegation to the celebration was led by His Royal Majesty, Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, overlord of the Akwamuman Kingdom, renowned for their rich history, particulalry in the period of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

A high-level multicultural event was organized which brought together political leaders, including the President and Vice President of Costa Rica, His Excellency, Carlos Alvarado Quesada and Her Excellency, Epsy Campbell Barr, as well as the King of Akwamu, His Royal Majesty, Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III to mark the occasion.

In a group photograph with the King of Akwamu, Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III (2nd right), Executive Director of UNFPA, Dr. Natalia Kanem (3rd left) and the UNFPA LACRO Regional Director, Mr. Harold Robinson Davis (2nd left), at the Cahuita National Park.

To bring down the curtains on the celebration, a ceremony was held to commemorate the abolishment of the trans-Atlantic trafficking of enslaved people. This ceremony took place at the Cahuita National Park, where it is believed that in the 1700s an expedition of lost Danish galleon got shipwrecked as they shipped enslaved people of African descent to the Americas. The King of Akwamu performed some rites to signify forgiveness on the part of African ancestors who had a role to play in the slave trade and to appease the spirits of the enslaved persons of African descent who lost their lives.

The United Nations observed this day to highlight the “extraordinary contributions of the African diaspora around the world and to eliminate all forms of discrimination against people of African descent.”

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