Rastafarians have been called upon to maintain their focus on the emancipation and unity of Africa. The call was made by Nana Kobina Nketsia V of Essikadu when he delivered the keynote address at the first National Rastafari Conference on March 2 in Ghana organized by the Rastafari Council of Ghana.
Nana Kobina Nketsia V recounted the contribution of the Rastafari Movement to the Pan African struggle and encouraged the present generation of Rastafari to remain focused and committed to the ideals of the Movement.
Hon Samia Nkrumah former national chairman of the CPP traced the common sources of inspiration for both Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah and the Rastafari Movement to the Rt Hon Marcus Mosiah Garvey. She noted that her father, Dr Nkrumah held the Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey in high esteem, similar to the movement’s regard for Garvey.
In his welcome address, the President of the Rastafari Council of Ghana recounted the activities of the Council over the past seven years and called on Rasses to use the Conference as a soul searching occasion to assess the contribution of the Rastafari community to national development and rededicate themselves to the upliftment of the movement in Ghana.
As part of the Conference, there were presentations on the Progress of Rastafari in Ghana since 1961 by Nash Laryea, Global Developments in Rastafari by Shango Baku which was read by Moses Kofi Asante, Activities of the Returned Diaspora by Aswad Nkrabeah and The Black Star Line Cooperative Credit Union by Donovan Cover while.
Jacob Gordon recounted the various efforts the of movement in Ghana towards unity and progress while an elder from Cote d Voire, Ras Soweto recounted some of the activities of the movement in Cote d Voire. Regional representatives at the Conference made presentations. There were also solidarity messages from the Musicians Union of Ghana.
Group discussions were held an action plans were outlined for issues of concern to the Rastafari Council of Ghana. These were in the area of Repatriation which the return of diasporans to Ghana, the decriminalization of marijuana and the Rastafari community in Ghana.
The National Rastafari Conference also marked the seventh anniversary of the Rastafari Council of Ghana and was in commemoration of the Battle of Adwa in 1896 in Ethiopia in which Emperor Menelik II defeated the Italian forces to assert Ethiopia’s independence.
The conference attracted Rastafarians from the Northern, Brong Ahafo, Ashanti and Eastern region. Other regions represented were the Western, Central, Volta and Greater Accra regions. Also present were Rastafarians from around the world.
Ahuma Bosco Ocansey