Moves towards African liberation in Antigua & Barbuda have been strongly supported by the country’s highest level of governance.
During the Opening Ceremony of the African Caribbean Culture Festival on Thursday evening, Governor General Sir Rodney Williams stood firm in his belief that the creative arts sector can become highly lucrative by incorporating more elements of African culture and has called on corporate citizens to join the effort.
“There is still a way to go for the creative sector in Antigua & Barbuda, but it is growing day by day. We are all very positive of the future of the sector which deserves the support of development partners as well as the private sector as part of its social responsibility.”
His Excellency expressed that it has always been his desire to support all movements, which are aimed at reconnecting citizens with their African roots.
“Following my appointment to office, we agreed that among other platforms, we would support the development and expressions of our island heritage and culture. The opening this evening of this festival demonstrates yet another element of our unique island culture, that it is deeply influenced by our rich African Heritage,” he assured the distinguished members of the audience.
The Governor General has reiterated that preserving African traditions is key to moving forward as a people.
“It is therefore incumbent upon us to ensure that our history and culture remain alive and well through the various means of expressions such as poetry, song, dance, music, dress, language, food and pageantry. Indeed, culture is also a powerful tool to engage citizens, communities and governments.”
Government House was filled with chants by Rastafari, regional reparations advocates, Pan-Africanists and African Royalty.
The three-day event is the first of its kind and was organized by the African Caribbean Culture Society.
The grand finale takes place today with a parade beginning at V.C. Bird Bust on Market Street from 2 pm and will end at Antigua Recreation Grounds with a concert of live performances of Nyabinghi drumming and local artistes such as Drastic.