Dr Natalia Kanem, UN Under-Secretary General, and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has described Ghana as “a beacon of rights.
Making reference to exploits of the legendary Yaa Asantewaa, a Ghanaian warrior queen, who rose to lead a local army against the invading British in the 1900s, she said the celebrated queen was an inspiration to men and women across the globe.
“Ghana is a beacon of rights. The legendary women of Ghana, we call the name of Nana Yaa Asantewaa, an inspiration for women, girls, men, everyone around the world to believe in justice,” she said.
Dr Kanem made the remarks when she addressed the media on her arrival at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra on Tuesday afternoon, April 19, 2022 to begin a five-day visit to Ghana.
Dr Kanem is in the country to convene a high-level forum to promote the rights of People of African Descent, to be held in Accra on Friday, April 22, 2022.
She was received at the Jubilee Lounge of the KIA by Mr Thomas Mbomba, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, officials at the UNFPA, and traditional leaders.
Dr Kanem was accompanied by the Vice-President of Costa Rica, Madam Epsy Campbell Bar, and other officials at the UNFPA.
Dubbed, “The Return Mission,” the forum in Accra is aimed at promoting dialogue and advocacy on thematic areas that would enhance inclusion and the wellbeing of People of African Descent.
It is on the theme: “People of African Descent: Accelerating the Commitment for Recognition, Advancement of Rights, Justice and Development.”
It precedes this year’s International Day for People of African Descent, which will be observed on 31st August, 2022.
Dr Kanem said the Forum was intended to unearth the linkages between the African diaspora and their home continent.
She said the rights of the people of African Descent had been denied for centuries, and assured that the UN would advance the mission of peace, education and women’s equality.
“This is a moment where every child of African descent can take great pride in their heritage, can know that Africa is on the stage leading to make a space for women farmers to finally have that sense of safety and security,” she said.
Madam Campbell Bar said the visit to Ghana was important to build bridges between the People of African Descent and their home countries and work together to build the continent.
“My heart is filled with plenty of love because I feel that I’ve come back to my motherland,” she said.
As part of her five-day visit to Ghana, Dr Kanem will lead a delegation to visit the Elmina Castle, Assin Manso Slave Market and Slave River Park.
The UNFPA in a press release said the tour was intended to provide an experience of touristic sites that were indispensable to the history of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Dr Kanem will also pay a courtesy call on the President and the Vice-President and go on a field visit to assess Nana Afrakuma II’s Vocational Institute for Adolescent Mothers in Akwamu.
She is also expected to engage with traditional leaders by paying a courtesy call on the King of Akwamu, His Royal Majesty Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III.