On behalf of Dr. Susan Alfred – Walcott, initiator of the Global Year of Return Kumasi Carnival and President of the Ghana Caribbean Chamber of Commerce, Initiator of the Ghana Suriname Chamber of Commerce, Dr Barryl A. Biekman (General Coordinator for African Diaspora Initiative in Europe Region and Dutch Speaking Countries), in liberty and reunification, introduced to the world the website of the “Global Year of Return Kumasi Carnival”: www.kumasi-carnival.com. It was indeed with great pleasure that, Dr. Barryl A. Biekman (Ambassador of the African Diaspora Union) www.globaldiasporanews.com/barrylbiekman/ has “said ‘yes’ to the appeal of Dr. Susan Alfred- Walcott to coordinate the Ghana Year of Return activities in Europe with the specific task to mobilize the African diasporas in the Europe and in the Dutch speaking countries, followed by a mandate letter from Madam Janet Edna Nyame, Director of the Ghana National Commission on Culture.”
For Dr. Barryl Biekman, “Carnival has remarkably become an important representation of HOME for millions of people. Even those who have never attended a Carnival before are astonished at how they could be so comfortable and become so involved. According to Professor Dr. Kimani Nehusi, those who have left home, those who stayed at home and those who have never been home before, find home in a Carnival”.
To be part of the global year of return, register by August the 30, 2019 by filling the form at www.kumasi-carnival.com/registration/.
About the Year of Return, Ghana 2019
The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a major landmark marketing campaign targeting the African – American and Diaspora Market to mark 400 years of the first enslaved African arriving in Jamestown Virginia. The Year of Return seeks to make Ghana the focus for millions of African descendants reacting to their marginalization by tracing their ancestry and identity. By this, Ghana becomes the beacon for African people living on the continent and the diaspora.
How We Got Started
In Washington, D.C., in September 2018, Republic Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo declared and formally launched the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” for Africans in the Diaspora, in relation to the quest to unite Africans on the continent with the sixth Region diaspora in and outside the continent: See the video of the announcement on the right side. In his statement the President referred to the extraordinary achievements and contributions of Africans in the Diaspora made to the lives of the Americans and other nations, and that it is important that this symbolic year—400 years later—we commemorate their existence and their sacrifices.
The proclamation formally launched the programme of activities marking the 400-year anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to ‘English North America in 1619”. According to Ron Daniels (African Diaspora in New York, USA; Founder & President of the Institute of the Black World 21st Century),“…the arriving of the Dutch ship ‘White Lion’ marks the opening chapter in one of the most horrific events in human history, the holocaust of African enslavement, the MAAFA via the European slave trade…… and despite fierce resistance, millions of Africans would eventually be captured and taken to ports on the West Coast to face the horrifying experience of being dragged through “DOORS OF NO RETURN” at Elmina Castle on the “Gold Coast”/Ghana and Goree Island in Senegal. Thus, began the creation of the Diaspora as the sons and daughters of Africa were forcibly scattered throughout the Western hemisphere on board of the ships of profit-seeking…”
For many Pan Africanists and Activists in Diaspora this “GHANA 2019 YEAR OF RETURN” is one of the most important acts of an African (Union) Head of State to make clear that the Republic of Ghana is serious about the implementation of The African Union African Diaspora Sixth Region Declaration & Program of Action that was adopted on May 25, 2012 in Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa; the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action that was adopted by consensus in 2001 by the United Nations (World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance); the UN Decade for People of African Descent that was adopted in 2014 by the United Nations General Assembly and the realization of the United Nations Permanent Forum for People of African Descent.
Where We Are Now
Follow up to the launching of the Year of Return in Washington, the same was organized in The Hague, The Netherlands on April 25, 2019, for the African Diaspora living in Europe and in the Dutch-speaking countries. Amongst the speakers were: H.E. Ms. Sophia Horner-Sam, Ghana Ambassador to the Netherlands who spoke on behalf of the Republic of Ghana diplomatic missions in Europe; Dr. Doudou Diene, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; Former director and Initiator of the UNESCO Slave Route Project who in his Keynote address spoke about the significance of the Year of Return in perspective of the UN Decade for People of African descent; Dr. Barryl A. Biekman, Europe Region Ambassador of the African Diaspora Union spoke about “The Year of Return in Perspective of the AU Sixth Region Policy” whereby, as a strategy to implement the May 25, 2012 AU Declaration, she called for the adoption of a DECADE OF RETURN by the AU.
Joining many other organizations in the preparation of activities towards the Return of the African Diaspora, the Kumasi Carnival Organization and Coordination Commission actively worked on the renewal of the Kumasi Carnival that for the first time was organized 2 years ago (2007).
The Kumasi Carnival Program is rejuvenated with diverse activities and spiced up with the Global Diaspora cultural heritage and the rich culture of the Ghanaian regions:
- A Welcome Home Carnival Opening Ceremony
- A Welcome Home Dubar of Chiefs and Queen Mothers
- The Solemn Unveiling of The Memorial Monument of Liberty and Reunificationand
- The Gala Dinner and Awards show.
According to Dr. Barryl A. Biekman, “a mission of the carinal is the realization of an “African Union Decade of Return” Declaration with the important mission, the implementation of the AU African Diaspora 6th Region. The Carnival is an instrument to bring the Global African Family together with one of the important aims to discuss further steps during the several Panels. The global Pan Africanist, Activists and Experts are requested to demonstrate their Commitment to the success of the event. Among other things, a crowd funding campaign for the unveiling of the monument is under development.”
To be part of the global year of return, register by August the 30, 2019 by filling the form at: www.kumasi-carnival.com/registration/. The registration is only valid after receipt of the registration fee and only fully registered participants will be given IDs and badges after showing their registration number that has issued during the registration. The registration fee is non-refundable after cancellation and the registration number is not transferable to third parties.
The registration fee is $ 40.00 per Carnival participant and it must be paid as soon as the registration is approved by the Planning Committee. After registration, participant will be issued with a registration number.
It is forbidden in anyway to express political propaganda during the carnival procession; dress and behave provocative; carry by law forbidden weapons; carry objects which might become hazardous to other participants; Carry food and drinks in glass objects.
Driving in a decorated open means of transport will only be allowed after if approved by the planning committee. The Carnival costumes shall be in accordance with morality, no nudity is allowed.
Under ‘Carnival group’ only a minimum of 5 registered people are required. It is expected that all members of the group appear in same design costumes or colors that reflect the groups cultural heritage and/or the history that the group intend to express.
The designation of a group coordinator to function as the focal/contact point is required. The group coordinator may designate one or more group leaders. This depends on the role of the specific groups within a group (for instance, music, dance, drum groups) and on ages. For the youth group it is recommended; 1 leader per 10 youths.
The purpose of this application is to have detailed records of everyone entering Ghana for the occasion of the Global Year Of Return Kumasi Carnival, Ghana 2019.
At such a big event it is inevitable that we have a lot of preparations to do and hence huge expenditure to cover to ensure smooth flow of activities. That is why we ask a registration contribution of $ 40.00 per Carnival Group Participant. This amount must be paid as soon as the registration has been approved. You will receive a separate invoice and bank details through e-mail.
The Official Program
DAY 1 – Arrival on the 27th of october
Location: Kumasi Airport
Carnival Groups are expecting to arrive on October 27th in Kumasi, Ghana.
DAY 2 – 8:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m.
Venue: National Cultural Centre Kumasi
Carnival Groups first day of registration and receipt of badges, the procession number and the instruction booklet.
DAY 3 – 5:00 pm – 9:00 p.m
Venue: Golden Tulip Hotel in Kumasi
Welcome home carnival opening ceremony. Welcome statements, Ghana-Kumasi Cultural Dance and Music, Ghana Food and Drinks.
DAY 4 – 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m
Venue: National Cultural Centre Kumasi
Solemn unveiling of The Memorial Monument of Liberty and Reunification.
DAY 5 – 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m
Venue: National Cultural Centre Kumasi
The Main Event: GLOBAL YEAR OF RETURN KUMASI CARNIVAL.
DAY 6 – Information coming soon
Scheduled for the Dinner and Gala Award show program.
For more information, please visit www.kumasi-carnival.com