The Rastafari Council of Ghana has called on the South African government to take urgent steps to address the issue of xenophobia since that runs against all the efforts by black people globally to end apartheid.
The Council has also called on western countries to pay reparations to African and Carribean countries for the atrocities afflicted by slavery on peoples of African descent.
These calls were contained in a keynote address delivered by the third occupant of the Kwame Nkrumah Chair at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, Legon, Prof Horace Campbell at the 2nd National Rastafari Conference in Accra. Prof Campbell also urged Rastafari in Ghana to continue the struggle for the liberation of Africa since the black man cannot be free until Africa is free.
He was speaking on the topic “The Role of Rastafari in the African Reconstruction” at the 2nd National Conference on Rastafari organized by the Rastafari Council of Ghana in Accra on March 5.
Referring to a statement by Prof Rex Nettleford in his report on the visit to Africa by a delegation from Jamaica in the sixties, Prof Campbell described the Rastafari movement as the only group to have made a quantum leap in redefining its spirituality through its own lenses.
He describes this definitive position for Rastafari is a pivot for spiritual progress. Prof Campbell also advised the gathering at the conference not to be divided by their various mansions but rather provide the basis for the unification of the Rastafari people.
The President of the Rastafari Council of Ghana, Ahuma Bosco Ocansey in his opening remarks reviewed the work of the Council since the conference last year and called on all Rastafari in Ghana, to support the work of the Council for the ultimate benefit of Rastafari in Ghana. He indicated that the Council intends to take advantage of the NPP government’s agricultural initiatives to provide jobs for Rastafarians in the country.
During the conference break-out sessions, participants discussed proposed amendments to the Council’s constitution and the subject of Repatriation and Reparations. Member groups of the Council also delivered solidarity messages on behalf of their groups with calls on the Council to ensure that all Rastafari in Ghana benefit from their work.
In his closing remarks, the Rapporteur – General for the conference Prof Devalera Botchway of the History Department of the University of Cape Coast called for a reorientation of the history books in our schools to reflect the true history of our people. He indicated that it is necessary for the evils perpetuated by slavery to be known by our people and adequate compensation and apologies for the evils of slavery should be paid.
The conference brought together Rastafarians from around the country with representation from most regions in the country and other parts of Africa like South Africa who were represented by Dr Neo Lekgotla Ramoupi of the Council for Higher Education in South Africa. Over two hundred Rastamen and women participated in the conference.
The Rastafari Council of Ghana was established in 2009 as an umbrella body of Rastafari in Ghana to coordinate their activities and also act as an interface between Rastafari and other stakeholders in national development.