‘Economic, cultural power shifting from West to India, Africa’August 5th, 2008 - 9:55 am ICT by IANS
By Paras Ramoutar
Port of Spain (Trinidad), Aug 5 (IANS) Ghana’s President John Agyekum Kufuor says power - both economic and cultural - is shifting from the developed nations of the West to developing lands like Africa and India, which had earlier suffered under colonial rule. “Power is shifting around the globe. Whether it is economic or cultural. China is waking up, India is waking up and Africa too is waking up. We need to free our minds. Education is key and we must ensure that it sinks right down to the grass-root level,” Kufuor said at the National Emancipation Day celebrations here.
He was chief guest at the 170th anniversary celebration of the freeing of African slaves by an act of the British parliament in 1838.
Following the abolition of slavery, India was the target for labour to work and support agricultural production by British planters. Approximately, 500,000 Indians were brought to Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname and Jamaica, among several other Caribbean countries, to work on sugar and cocoa plantations.
“There are new frontiers to cross and set in this paradigm of globalisation. All must work together to become truly emancipated. The world is moving in a direction which requires leadership by vision, transcending tribal, national and even continental bounds,” Kufuor said.
“Our survival as a people came through black organisations. We are here to establish and renew those ties that bind us together,” he added.
He referred to Trinidad and Tobago’s first prime minister Eric Williams’ book “Capitalism and Slavery” in which he argued that slavery came to an end because it was no longer economically viable for colonial powers.
“Therefore, we must show solidarity in emancipation. Our mission is to unite Africans all over the world like what Trinidadian George Padmore and US civil rights leader Martin Luther King started years ago and hold a strong position for Pan Africanism,” Kufuor said.
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Tags: abolition of slavery, african slaves, anniversary celebration, british parliament, capitalism and slavery, civil rights leader, cocoa plantations, colonial powers, emancipation day, eric williams, george padmore, grass root level, john agyekum kufuor, martin luther king, national emancipation, new frontiers, pan africanism, port of spain trinidad, target, trinidad and tobago