The Western Regional Minister, Hon. Kwabena Otchere Darko-Mensah on Friday, October 27, 2023, joined the people of Tiapoum in Cote D’Ivoire to celebrate the Kundum festival.
He paid a courtesy call to the paramount Chief of the Tiapoum Traditional area, Awulae Kuluchie IV at his palace.
The Chief linguist of the Awulae addressing the Regional Minister disclosed that Kundum has lost its unique celebration and as part of frantic efforts by the Awulae to revive it to its past glory, leaders, individuals and groups who have in-depth knowledge about Kundum invited to polish the celebration to make it more attractive to be able to raise funds for development.
He highlighted some challenges Ghanaians in Cote D’Ivoire go through at the Jaway Wharf Border when entering and from Ghana and urged the Minister to help address them. He expressed deep appreciation and thanked him for his consistency in honouring their invitations and urged the Minister to extend invitations to them anytime he organized festivals to enable them to replicate the same gesture in many folds.
The Hon. Minister on his part expressed delight for the warm reception he had received from the Awulae. He said his invitation to the Kundum celebration was in order because Nzemas in Ivory Coast and Ghana are one people who share the same cultural values and aspirations irrespective of the artificial border.
More so Kundum is celebrated among some communities along the coast of the Western Region, i.e. from Ahanta to Grand Bassam in Ivory Coast, hence as the Minister for the Region, during such festivals, it is proper for him to partake in the celebrations.
He added that the formation of ECOWAS should have naturally triggered the free movement of people, goods and services but it is rather unfortunate that there are impediments that make it difficult for people and goods to move freely.
He pledged to discuss the matter at the cabinet to see how it could be addressed to ensure that the basic human right of free movement enshrined in both country’s constitutions is protected.
He said he would extend an invitation to Awulae and his elders during next year’s Kundum celebration and appealed to them to join him in December to celebrate this year’s popular Street Carnival at Sekondi-Takoradi.
He urged residents of the community who desire to explore tourist attractions to come to Ghana and visit the Ankasa Forest, Nzulezo silt, Mahaa Beach Resort, Takoradi Mall, etc. and admonished the elders to send the school children and university students to Ghana on excursions to the tourist sites to help deepen the bond and ensure peaceful coexistence.
The Regional Minister was accompanied by MMDCE’s Hon. Louisa Iris Arde, Jomoro, Hon. Bonzo Kaku, Ellembele, Hon. Dorcas Amoah, Nzema East, and other NPP officials.