President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo travelled to Barbados in June this year as part of Year of Return to reconnect Ghana with Caribean nations. On his trip, he invited the leaders of the countries he visited to make a trip to Ghana and encouraged discussions on how their countries can form strategic partnerships.
Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, accepted his invitation and arrived in Ghana Thursday morning with a delegation for a 3-day visit. This trip is significant because not only is the Prime Minister exploring possible business opportunities and ways our two countries can build together, she is also visiting historical sites and Thursday witnessed the burial of the remains of an unknown enslaved African from Barbados.
Shortly after arrival, she and her delegation travelled to the Central Region to visit Cape Coast Castle before making the journey to Assin Manso for the burial. “We are home and we thank God for giving us the strength and resilience as a people to be able to make this journey today,” she said to the crowd in Assin Manso. “It is not a coincidence that this is the ‘Year of Return’ …we have come to declare too, that we want to close the circle and we want to build the Atlantic bridge,” she declared.
It was an emotional ceremony that represented the coming together of the past, present and building toward the future. The local Chiefs poured libations to honour the ancestors and they greeted and welcomed the Prime Minister to their town. “We have to pay homage and to give thanks for centuries of resilience of those who were able to withstand the cruelest indignities in humanity…thanks for the ability to keep faith and keep hope alive,” Mottley said.
The casket holding the remains was draped with kente and the Barbados flag. It was carried to the gravesite and wreaths were laid in honour of this unknown soul. After burial, the Prime Minister and her delegation were taken on a private tour of the Slave River where captured Africans were bathed for the last time before being taken to the dungeons of Cape Coast and Elmina through the ‘door of no return.
Mottley is hopeful and positive for the future relationship Barbados will have with Ghana. “You must know that we have come here with love in our heart…with a determination that we will always be stronger working together.”