WINDHOEK – Representatives of Rastafari organisations from ten African countries recently gathered for a three-day conference in Cape Town under the theme ‘Rastafari and intra-African Trade for Sustainable Development’. The conference, which took place from May 22 to May 25 in Wellington, Cape Town, saw representatives from Ethiopia, Ghana, Botswana, Angola, Benin, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Namibia and Swaziland get together.
At the conference Ghana’s Ahuma Bosco Ocansey, aka Daddy Bosco, was elected as the first chairman of the Rastafari Continental Council (RCC). The conference also elected the representative from Tanzania, Ras Makonnen, as deputy chairman.
“Intra-Africa trade is important because it is a crucial aspect needed for the unification of the continent. Once African countries realise that they only need each other to thrive economically then other factors will fall in place for the unification of the continent,” said a Namibian representative at the conference, Brian Jaftha, aka B.JAH, who was accompanied at the conference by compatriot Kapweya Ekandjo.
According to the facilitator of the conference, Dr Desta Meghoo, who is also the Diasporan African Forum’s representative with the African Union, “the RCC seeks to protect and preserve the cultural, civil and natural rights of indigenous African Rastafari, ensuring their recognition nationally, regionally and Africa wide, in order to safeguard Rastafari peoples’ full participation in all areas of society in Africa, realising a strong, sound and developed Africa.”
She added that the council also aims at “building a sustainable institution to further unite, mobilise and empower Rastafari peoples on and from the continent towards progressive development in and for Africa; while providing an integral platform for national, regional, and continental dialogue and efforts for the upliftment of Rastafari peoples at home and subsequently abroad”.
The Rastafari Continental Council (RCC) was established in Ethiopia during the All Africa Rastafari Gathering (AARG) which was held from November 1 to November 7, 2017 to unite, empower and mobilise Rasses for a sustainable development of the Rastafari nation at a national and continental level.
Participants at the conference worked on the structure of the council and duly appointed officers for the administration of the council’s secretariat which will be based in South Africa. The next conference is scheduled for Accra, Ghana from May 23 to 25, 2019.