The Region Ten Organizing Committee for the 2011 International Year for People of African Descent has already launched its programme of activities which will give effect to the UN Resolution that calls for “strengthening (of) national actions and regional and international cooperation for the benefit of people of African descent…”
The committee said in a release that the launching took place on November 19 at the LEN Macaw Training Room and was attended by a wide cross-section of the Linden community, including school children from several secondary schools, youth and sports groups, representatives of regional government and the business and religious communities.
The guest of honour was Professor Tony Martin, a recognized authority on the influential Marcus Garvey. According to the release, the committee sees the year as an opportunity to sensitize people on an international scale about the “commencement of remedial actions necessary to cure the regressive effects of African peoples of a more than 1,500-year long genocide against Africans…”
Also speaking at the launching ceremony were committee members Maurice Butters, Dr Kimani Nehusi and Regional Chairman No. 10 Mortimer Mingo.
Dr Nehusi urged that Africans be resolute in “reestablishing their African identity, as to claim to be an Afro Guyanese is to identify oneself solely as a Guyanese whilst ignoring that their existence as a historical and ethnic entity does not begin with Guyana but with Africa”. He told the audience that to claim one’s “Guyaneseness is to claim one’s nationality but to claim one’s Africanness was to claim our identity”. Chairman of the organizing committee is Jonathan Adams and the PRO and Organizing Secretary is Coretta Braithwaithe.
The release said that next year the committee’s activities will be highly focused on educating Lindeners and primarily those of African extraction on the contributions which Africans and their forebears have made to world civilization.
This process will also concentrate on instilling in Africans a positive and historically correct African identity. Debating, elocution and essay competitions are also planned as well as a number of symposia and lectures on topics such as African Education, The Negative Profiling of Africans – what is to be done?, African Politics and Political Systems, Family, Spirituality, Economics, and Family.
And by the end of the year a Region 10 Youth Chamber of Commerce is expected to be established, the release added.
Meanwhile, in light of the United Nations designating 2011 as the International Year for People of African Descent, the government of Guyana plans to announce a national programme to celebrate the contributions of people of African descent to the country.