Gospel and Roots Festival for Florida in 2004

Cotonou- Benin (PANA) -- The Organisation for Reconciliation and Development (RADCORP) is to organise in 2004, in Florida (US), the first American edition of the Gospel and Roots Festival, organisers announced here Thursday.
They said the initiative is meant to support in the US the Beninese reconciliation initiative, considered as "a great importance for all mankind".
This programme, which started by the forgiveness of Africans who remained on the continent and descendants of former slaves in order to heal wounds of hundreds of years of torture and humiliation, constitutes the ferment of a genuine reconciliation for an effective development of the continent, said Jack Gaines, executive director of RADCORP.
RADCORP, whose objective is to support the initiative of Beninese authorities to bring reconcile Africans in Africa with their brothers in the Diaspora, is designed to pave the way for individuals and groups wishing to return to Africa.
This association, which supports the activities of the Beninese Agency for Reconciliation and Development (ABRD), assures the practical constituent of this programme involving over 10 million African-Americans.
Most popular cultural and spiritual constituent of the "reconciliation and development", process, the Gospel and Roots International Festival, whose second edition is presently holding in Benin, is meant to help establish mutual understanding between African Blacks and those of the Diaspora.
Beninese minister of Environment, Housing and Town Planning and co-chairman of the organising committee, Luc Gnacadja said "reconciliation will not take place suddenly" and there should be a process to bring those concerned to interact.
This festival, which is the result of the conference of leaders for reconciliation and development, is part of this process, he told PANA this week.
At the conference, organised in 1999 in Cotonou, it became necessary to have a framework whereby Africans in Africa and those in the Diaspora could meet.
"As music is the study of chorus, it's obvious that it will bring brothers from here and elsewhere to act together, meet and become aware that we should no longer take our history as a burden, but rather assume the stigmas," Gnacadja said.
In addition to the festival to be held alternatively in Benin and the US, Benin will host a fair of the Diaspora, and a symbolic trip with stopovers at Goree Island (Senegal) and Emina (Ghana), the main cities where slaves were transited.
Participants will stay for a week in Benin where the project "Adopted village" will be implemented, enabling them to connect to their roots.

14 august 2003 19:28:00




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