Friday, 6 July 2012

Algeria’s Independence Anniversary Marked In Accra

Ghana Broadcasting Corporation

A symposium to mark the 50th Anniversary of Algeria's independence has been held in Accra on the theme: “A Celebration of Frantz Fanon, First Algerian Ambassador to Ghana and Icon of Pan-Africanism."

It would look at key elements of the struggle for independence by African countries and discuss the significance of the fight for self-rule in modern times.

Vice President John Dramani Mahama, said although Africa was now free from colonialism, a lot more remained to be done. He said: "Until we join forces and bring our people together towards common goals, we would not reach our full potential in progress."

Vice President Mahama said Ghana's Founding Father, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, ultimately aimed at the unification of Africa "but this appears to be in limbo now."

He recalled that Ghana's struggle for independence sparked great hope in liberation fighters all over the world, and said Ghana, became a beacon of hope for Africans in the Diaspora.

Vice President Mahama said Ghana had an indelible heritage by the role it had played in the struggle for liberation, and added that this placed on the country, the role and responsibility of always portraying what it basically stood for, which was African unity and liberty.

"We congratulate Algeria for 50 years of independence and the role they continue to play in the strength and progress of Africa..”

The Algerian Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Lakhal Benkelai, said as the first Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Frantz Fanon, laid the foundation for a mutually rewarding relationship between the two countries.

He noted the two countries were also tied by their common history and said that, Dr. Nkrumah, was very supportive of Algeria's struggle for independence.

The Algerian Ambassador said, presently, Africa needed to fight to ensure, that it contributed significantly to decisions made on the international scene, in order to have a say in international policy.

He said this could be achieved by strengthening the African Union, and ensuring, that it had greater influence on global decision making.

Professor Akilagpa Sawyer, a member of the Council of State, and a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, said Algeria was a central point in Africa's struggle against colonialism.
He said Algeria was also pivotal in the formation of the African Union.

Prof. Akilagpa Sawyer said it was unfortunate that lately, the struggle by African nations for independence seemed to have been forgotten.

He said it was important to remember heroes such as Frantz Fanon and Dr. Nkrumah, who at the peril of their lives, fought hard to ensure the freedom of their nations from colonial rule.

Mr K.B. Asante, a retired Ghanaian Diplomat, called on Africans to ensure that they progressed according to their own pace, instead of allowing themselves to be influenced by "others", who were really only after their own interest.

Algeria achieved independence on July 5th, 1962 and Frantz Fanon, a leading anti-colonial thinker of the 20th century, was a prominent figure in Algeria's struggle against French rule.

Born on July 20th, 1925, he died on December 6th, 1961 and was buried in Algeria. His body was later moved to a martyr’s graveyard at Ain Kerma in Eastern Algeria.