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From Lindsay Barrett in Abuja

The historic connection of the Caribbean island of Jamaica with the ancestry of many of its people in the ethnic communities of modern-day Ghana is well known. Many of the national heroes of Jamaica’s history especially among the resistance fighters of the slave era bear names redolent with the cultural identity of Ghanaian origin. These include Nanny, Cudjoe, Quacoe and Koffi, leaders of the Maroon Rebellions of the 18th century, which led to the establishment of autonomous enclaves of freedom in the island. In addition to this the founding father of Ghanaian Independence, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah openly expressed his debt of gratitude to the Jamaican Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey whose life and actions inspired the Ghanaian leader’s vision of self-determination for all Africans. These historic echoes appeared to take on new and more contemporary relevance recently when Her Excellency Mrs. Ann Scott, the Jamaican High Commissioner in Nigeria (who is also accredited to Ghana) hosted two events that emphasised the fraternal empathy existing between the two nations.


H.E. Mrs. Ann Scott (left) High Commissioner of Jamaica in Nigeria & Ghana speaks at a reception bidding farewell to H.E. William AzumahAwinador-Kanyirege (right) outgoing High Commissioner of Ghana in Nigeria

The first of these was a low-key reception to bid farewell to H.E. William AzumahAwinador-Kanyirege High Commissioner of Ghana in Nigeria, who was leaving to a new posting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The reception, which was heldat the residence of the Jamaican High Commissioner,was attended by a small gathering of African Ambassadors with Nigeria’s highly respected diplomatic expert, and one-time Foreign Minister and former Under-Secretary General of the UN Dr. Ibrahim Gambari as a Special Guest. Many speakers paid tribute to the expertise and hospitable attributes of the Ghanaian diplomat and Mrs, Scott spoke with gratitude of his fraternal assistance to her at all times since they met.


H.E. Mrs. Scott presents a certificate of long-service to Mr. Seth Mensah, a Ghanaian national who has worked for the Jamaican High Commission in Nigeria for twenty six years, while Ms. Myrtle Miller an official at the High Commission looks on..

Just over a week after that event the Jamaican High Commissioner hosted a very different gathering in which Mr. Seth Mensah an employee of the mission was given a long-service award marking twenty five years of serviceby the Government of Jamaica. Once again this served to underscore the deeply fraternal ties that continue to exemplify links between Jamaica and Ghana. Mensah who has been a driver with the Jamaican High Commission for twenty six years is a Ghanaian. The citationprepared in his honour spoke of his service to the Jamaican government not just as an employee but a brother, a friend, and an unofficial adviser whose value far exceeded his official status. The event was attended mainly by his family and friends and a pair of senior officials Mr. Ahmed Tijaniand Mrs Adeline Cleland represented the Ghana High Commission in Nigeria. Many of the speakers who were both Ghanaian and Nigerian expressed enormous gratitude and respect for the consideration shown by the Jamaican government for a humble employee.





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