Marhaba Festival kicks off

Accra- The Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) on Thursday, commenced the maiden activities to commemorate the Marhaba Festival, an event initiated to mark the ‘Year of Return’ and welcome Africans in the Diaspora back into the country.

The Marhaba Festival is a three-day celebration consisting of different activities, the African Family Reunion, Welcome Home Durbar of Chiefs and the Diaspora Business to Business Forum.

A number of symbolic activities were carried out including the re-enactment of the 400 years of the returnees, that is, returning by sea in boats, giving local names to the ‘returnees’, showed a great sense of Africanism, and making the returnees feel accepted and warmly welcomed.

Madam Bella Ahu, the President of GHATOF, who welcomed the ‘returnees’ at a ceremony at Prampram, expressed joy at the number of attendants and asked them to feel at home.

She urged them to collaborate with the indigenes to invest in education, tourism, trade and every activity that would bring about an improvement and development in their communities and Ghana.

Madam Ahu said the Chief and people of Prampram had good intentions and urged the ‘returnees’ to offer the necessary support and ideas that would benefits and enhance the development of Prampram and the country at large.

Nene Tetteh Wakah III, Paramount Chief of the Prampram Traditional Area, said it was a privilege to host the ‘returnees’ ,and that, the people of Prampram were ready to partner them to create businesses, schools, factories and other developmental activities and assured of equal opportunities in every activity they undertake.

Mr Yaw Owusu Akyeaw, the Member of Bureau of African Diaspora, speaking on behalf of the Africans in the Diaspora thanked the Chiefs and people of Prampram for the warm reception, saying that, they were willing to participate in projects that would promote the development of the community and the country.

He appealed to the leaders of the area to treat the ‘returnees; as citizens and not foreigners, saying, that would make them feel at home.

Some of the ‘returnees’ were given local names and also given clan names of Prampram: Annor We, Kle, Olowe Charwey Nya and Lakpler Clans.

Present at the ceremony was Naa Koshi Marsh Mpese I, who returned home to Ghana earlier and had installed as the Development Queen Mother for Mpese Royal, Home and abroad.

The returnees expressed excitement at the names given to them as well as the symbolic welcome they received and said they were willing to offer the nation the best as citizens to enhance growth.

Source: Ghana News Agency