NewsWire GH
Informative, entertaining, credible news on the go!

Ads

Rawlings Honoured With Marcus Garvey Award

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has once again called for a concerted national effort to protect the country’s trees and forests, taking a swipe at some world leaders who are dismissive of the threat of global warming.

He called for an urgent effort to address re-afforestation stating it used to be a part of our national culture, championed by school children, churches, and civil society.

The former President also described as baffling that even some among the so-called ‘educated powers’ are dismissive of global warming adding as the debate has raged on with insistent cautions about the damage to the environment, others have found reasons and ways to argue the opposite.

Marcus Garvey Awards

In a speech read on his behalf at the first Marcus Garvey Awards Ball and Banquet organized by the Black Star Line Credit Union at the Swiss Spirit Alisa Hotel in Accra on Saturday, Flt Lt Rawlings commended the government for launching the Youth in Afforestation Programme aimed at re-afforestation, forest rehabilitation, and forest protection.

He said: “This vision can however not be achieved without the passionate commitment that our country had paid to such activity in the past as a collective. I personally entreat all to embrace this as a national project for our own future, survival and as our duty to the earth.”

Yemen

The former President also criticized the situation in Yemen where for the past few years Saudi Arabia has taken sides in a civil conflict in the country with regular airstrikes which have claimed the lives of innocent men, women and children. He said it was a crying shame that for years thousands have died a wicked and terrible death, with children living in extreme hunger, thirst, and torture of extreme deprivation.

He called out the United Nations, saying: “It is a terrible indictment that the United Nations and its allied agencies have allowed this humanitarian disaster to last for so long! The media, especially Al Jazeera had repeatedly been exposing and highlighting the bombing and killing of innocent Yemeni men, women and children but the world looked on unconcerned.

“Our so-called defenders of international human rights and decency seemed totally oblivious to the horror in Yemen. A week ago, the UN Secretary-General suddenly had the veil lifted off his eyes when over 30 children were killed in a Saudi airstrike and called for an enquiry into the bombing of the busload of children,” former President Rawlings said.

The hypocrisy, the former President stated, must stop. The lack of global conscience concerning the situation in Yemen and Palestine and a host of other vulnerable states cannot continue forever. The United Nations, countries of the West and all right-thinking global citizens should wake up and pull the stops on this brazen cruelty.

Commending Marcus Garvey for his vision of emancipation and unity of the black race, Flt Lt Rawlings said the fact that the Banquet and Ball were held under the umbrella of economic emancipation reflected the core essence of Garvey’s work.

He said Garvey demonstrated a huge marriage between social responsibility, commercial and economic development adding that corruption and greed will never bring Africa any good fortune.

Emancipation

The former President said: “Many of the obstacles that confront our common emancipation have unfortunately remained constant: internal competition and personality clashes; tribalism and nepotism; greed and compromise of our people – especially our leaders; economic subservience and neo-colonialism as the modern version of black slavery. We have learnt from Garvey and many others after him that visions founded on honest reflections of common experience and truth will inspire and command mass followership and support.”

The former President was honoured with the first Marcus Garvey award for his contribution to Diaspora Relationship Development. In a citation accompanying the award, he was commended for the establishment of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and innovations such as Panafest and Emancipation Day.

Receiving the award, Flt Lt Rawlings said: “If you don’t have the spirit to defy what is wrong then you won’t be able to defend freedom and justice.”

Find below the full text of Rawlings’ address

ADDRESS BY H.E. JERRY JOHN RAWLINGS AT THE 1ST ANNUAL MARCUS GARVEY AWARDS BALL & BANQUET

SWISS SPIRIT ALISA HOTEL, ACCRA

AUGUST 18, 2018

Ambassador Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson of the AU,

Niimei, Naamei, Nananom,

Ministers of State,

Ads

Members of the Diplomatic Corps,

Distinguished Invited Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is my pleasure to join you here for the maiden Marcus Garvey Awards Ball and Banquet as part of activities marking the 131st birthday of this global African icon.

Marcus Josiah Garvey was a man whose vision about unity and emancipation of the Black race was just as phenomenal as it was global. That this gathering is organised around economic emancipation – a core part of the essence of his life’s work in helping the Black man understand and own our destiny is most significant.

Marcus Garvey commanded significant attention: from those awoken and moved by his vision and pragmatism; those who might have been less ambitious even within the common struggle; some who appeared perhaps more pretentious and less daring; and of course, those for whom true emancipation of our race was and remains a threat.

Many of the obstacles that confront our common emancipation have unfortunately remained constant: internal competition and personality clashes; tribalism and nepotism; greed and compromise of our people – especially our leaders; economic subservience and neo-colonialism as the modern version of black slavery. We have learnt from Garvey and many others after him, that visions founded on honest reflections of common experience and truth will inspire and command mass followership and support.

Ladies and gentlemen, economic emancipation for the Black race have not been easy, so I welcome and support the Black Star Line Cooperative Credit Union as a worthy Black Emancipation project. To break away from the defeatist mindset we must exchange the pervasive ‘aid mentality’ for the ability to generate and manage wealth.

But wealth generation that is not corrupt and diabolical, must stand on the foundation of financial literacy – for empowerment, that positions our race towards liberty, independence of thought, self-sufficiency and security. Indeed, I must caution that the desire for financial security must be for the right reasons and must point to the liberation of society, plus the proper economic positioning of our nations. I believe the man who inspired Africa’s subscription to The Black Star as a key component of our identity, demonstrated a unique marriage between social responsibility, commercial and economic development.

Corruption and greed will never bring Africa any good fortune. It will only destroy the society and impoverish the people. It will lead to the disconnect that invariably leads to a revolution. That is what happened to my generation. You have the opportunity to make sure the consequences of greed and social injustice as experienced in generations past do not repeat in yours. Do not be overtaken by greed. Do not use it as an opportunity to short-change your people. Use your financial security responsibly. Use it for Africa.

As humans, we have lived a huge catalogue of uncivilized behaviour. Our continued mental, political and socio-economic slavery is a testament to the devastating repercussions of unbridled greed and unchecked excess. The insatiable quest to control wealth and power has led us down a spiral of consumerism which has resulted in a retrogressive civilization.

It is baffling, Ladies and Gentlemen, that some, even among the so-called ‘educated powers’ dismiss global warming as a natural phenomenon. The only thing that could be natural about it is the devastating consequence of our behaviour! As the debate has raged on with insistent cautions about the damage to the environment, others have found reasons and ways to argue the opposite.

However, our excess materialism has led us to such indiscipline as to erode layers off our natural protection. Whatever we do not accept, surely, we can feel! Right here in the tropics, the unbearable and unpredictable weather is being experienced by all! If we could have done anything to ameliorate this burning heat, we should have left our forests alone or seriously addressed re-afforestation and planting. This used to be a part of our national culture – with school kids, civil society, women’s groups, churches and all manner of organisations planting trees.

Ladies and Gentlemen, some nations had foreseen these grave consequences, and with others, have since taken heed and are far advanced in efforts to repair and manage the situation. Libya, Kenya and just North of Ghana, Burkina Faso, have engaged in an admirable re-afforestation drive. It is heartening to note that President Akufo Addo recently launched the Youth in Afforestation Programme aimed at re-afforestation, forest rehabilitation and forest protection. This vision can however not be achieved without the passionate commitment that our country had paid for such activity in the past as a collective. I personally entreat all to embrace this as a national project for our own future, survival and as our duty to the earth.

Another facet of our counter-civilization is that which presents an enduring racism and modern slavery. The unapologetic and shameless hypocrisy of the West. For years, the world (the West and the UN) have kept quiet as war – atrocities of what can be described as ethnic cleansing have been meted out on the Yemeni by Saudi Arabia. It is a crying shame that thousands have died a wicked and terrible death: children have lived in extreme hunger and thirst, fear, and the torture of extreme deprivation over months and years; so that they may carry no bleeding wounds, but those of hopelessly sunken, empty eyes; emaciated skeletal bodies; on journeys nowhere.

It is a terrible indictment that the United Nations and its allied agencies have allowed this humanitarian disaster to last for so long! The media, especially Al Jazeera had repeatedly been exposing and highlighting the bombing and killing of innocent Yemeni men, women and children but the world looked on unconcerned. Our so-called defenders of international human rights and decency seemed totally oblivious to the horror in Yemen. A week ago, the UN Secretary-General suddenly had the veil lifted off his eyes when over 30 children were killed in a Saudi airstrike and called for an enquiry into the bombing of the busload of children.

Ladies and Gentlemen, this hypocrisy must stop! The lack of global conscience concerning the situation in Yemen and Palestine and a host of other vulnerable states cannot continue forever. The United Nations, countries of the West and all right-thinking global citizens should wake up and pull the stops on this brazen cruelty.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Marcus Garvey was no alien to the struggle against imperialist conspiracy. However, his vision and efforts transcended his immediate environment onto continental Africa. His businesses, though short-lived, proved the possibilities and capabilities for Africa and Africans, founded and inspired countless identity and business ventures. His Black Star Line has lived on through his disciples including Ghana’s own Kwame Nkrumah and other distinguished leaders of his time.

At this moment in history, I can confidently say that I expect the Black Star Line Cooperative Credit Union manifests another dimension of the Black Star Line – as a foundation for the global economic emancipation of the Black race. I refer to the promises in your mission statement and to those, I add that it has always been possible. The struggle with the dimensions of accountability, transparency and consistency are ever present and must be persistent.

Weaning ourselves from colonialism and subsequently, neo-colonialism has been a huge challenge. Corruption and its attendant ills have been a direct fallout of the manipulation of our people by the so-called advanced world for its selfish ends. We must work critically on removing the mindset that corruption is a cultural problem. It is a shallow and manipulative way to perpetuate and justify a treatable plague.

We must treat corruption as a punishable crime – something that we frown upon and recognise as the obstacle to our progress. With that recognition, our battle to confront the menace will begin to bear fruit.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, thank you for the honour done all awardees here today. I look forward to this event growing in stature and serving the memory of our grand hero, Marcus Garvey for decades to come.

Thank you.

Source: Starrfmonline.com

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More