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General News
Ethnic conflicts are impact of slave trade - Jake 4/16/2007
Accra, April 13, GNA - Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations on Thursday attributed the various ethnic conflicts in the country to the impact of the slave trade on people.

He stressed that the reasons for various tribal conflicts in certain parts of the country could be strongly related to what happened during the era of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey was speaking at the launch of a book titled: "Islands of Slaves" written by Thorkild Hansen and translated by Kari Dako, of the English Department of the University of Ghana which narrates the story of Ghanaian slaves in the former Danish West Indies, now the United States Virgins Islands.

The Minister strongly recommended that the three books: "Ships of Slaves, Coast of Slaves and Island of Slaves, all written by Hansen must be read by students in the country.

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey said, it was important to bring history back into the schools curricula to enable children know the true history of the African.

"Children must be taught to know where they come from in order to know where they are going to," he said.

Mr. Obetsebi-Lamptey used the opportunity to talk about the Joseph Project, which was launched on Thursday, April 12, 2007 at Elmina and said education about the slave trade, would be a major part of the project.

"The Joseph project is an outreach programme by the government to reach out to Africans in the Diaspora," he said and added that it was time for the truth about the slave trade to come out.

Ms Pamela Bridgewater, United States Ambassador to Ghana, who launched the book, said the story of the slave trade was one that needed to be told to a wider audience.

She announced that the US was building a slavery museum in Virginia, to be dedicated to the institution of slavery. Ms Kari Dako, Translator of the book, said the book, originally written in Dutch had been translated into several European languages but she felt the need to make the book available in a language that would be understood by a Ghanaian reader.

She said the book is partly based on an eyewitness account and she noted that the translation was done and written as close to the original as possible.

Ms Amanda Griffith, Deputy Director of the British Council, supported the Minister''s recommendation and said the books should be made a must read in European schools as well.

Professor Anna Adams, Director of Du Bois Centre, who reviewed the book, noted that the book is carved in a form that makes an authentic part of the Diasporan history.

She recommended the book as a readable and credible account of the story of the enslaved people.Source:

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