JM | Feb 25, 2023

Destined for Jamaica, Royal African delegation to attend reparations symposium

/ Our Today

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Exterior view of the regional headquarters of the University of the West Indies (The UWI) in Mona, St Andrew. (Photo: Facebook @UWIalumnionline)

A high-level delegation of royal African traditional leaders from AIDO Network International will visit Jamaica from February 28 to March 6 for a series of activities hosted by the CARICOM Reparations Commission, in collaboration with The University of the West Indies (The UWI), Centre for Reparation Research and PJ Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy.

The delegation of African traditional leaders will participate in an all-day symposium titled “Reparations and Royalty, Africa and Europe: Exploding Myths and Empowering Truths,” next Thursday (March 2) at the UWI Regional Headquarters from 9:00 am Jamaica time. 

Eight Royal African traditional leaders from Uganda, Cameroon, Ghana and South Africa will also participate in a youth forum for tertiary students titled “Wha Gwaan Africa?!” on March 3 at The UWI Mona Campus Undercroft beginning at 3:00 pm Jamaica time. 

The delegation will also reconnect with the Maroons in Accompong, among other cultural and ceremonial activities. Both the symposium and the youth forum will be streamed live via UWItv and on the CARICOM Secretariat’s Facebook page.

The delegation’s visit and the reparations events follow a commitment made during the First Africa-CARICOM Summit of Heads of Government in September 2021 to pursue a programme of action to deepen collaboration between the two regions.

Significantly, it is also among activities in recognition of the ten-year anniversary of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, as well as the observance of the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024). 

Among the objectives for the initiative include strengthening cooperation and promoting understanding between Africa and its Caribbean diaspora; engaging and inspiring youth in Jamaica and the region on issues related to their culture and identity; and contributing to building an Africa-CARICOM alliance in support of the reparations agenda.

Both events will provide opportunities to hear from descendants of African elites about pre-colonial societies and the changes brought by trading in Africans; discuss the roles of African and European royal families and other elites in the trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans and the chattelisation of Africans; as well as clarify some core issues that reside at the centre of the global reparations movement.

The iconic William Clarke colour illustration depicting slaves cutting the sugar cane in the artwork ‘Ten Views in the Island of Antigua (1823)’. (Photo: British Library, Wikimedia Commons)

Overall, the entities recognise the events as an invaluable opportunity for reconnection and dialogue between African Traditional and Cultural Leaders and Caribbean people on the myths that surround the European trade in enslaved Africans. 

Members of the delegation include His Royal Highness, Paul Sande Emolot, Papa Emorimor III, King of Ateker Iteso, East Africa and Chairman, Council of African Traditional Leaders and Diaspora Alliance; His Royal Majesty, Dr Robinson Tanyi, King of Tino Mbu Cameroon and President of the African Indigenous Governance Council (AIGC); Her Royal Majesty, Queen Cynthia Khumalo Mzilikazi III, Royal Mzilikazi Kingdom (Zulu Nation), South Africa; Her Royal Highness, Princess Dr. Nikiwe Bam, President African Young Indigenous Leaders (AYIL) and AIDO Culture and Heritage Ambassador, South Africa; Nana Enoch Aboagye Gyabaa III, the Gyaasehene of Abiriw Akuapem, and Human Rights Attorney, Ghana and H.E. Ambassador Ireneo Omositson Namboka, Vice President AIDO, Vice Chancellor, African Open University Switzerland, Geneva, and retired United Nations Human Rights Advisor, DPKO and UNITAR, Uganda & France.


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