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The visit of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was described as a meeting of minds as here he unveiled a plaque commemorating his visit and shook hands with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.

Mottley on August celebrations

The entire month of August is to become a time for Barbados to celebrate its African heritage.

Speaking of the need to add an African Festival of Food, Music, Arts and Technology to the calendar, Prime Minister Mia Mottley said that discussions have begun with the ministries of culture and tourism along with members of the diaspora to make this a reality.

“This shall be in August so as we come out of Crop-Over, we move into this festival so that from St. Lucy to St. Philip, from St. James to St. John and from our engagement with our diaspora across the world that we should be in a position to celebrate and uphold for our young people to understand the dignity of their inheritance, the African contribution to our society,” she said.

She highlighted that with Emancipation Day on August 1, Marcus Garvey celebrations on August 17 and August 23 marking the abolition of the slave trade, the country would begin to truly appreciate its African-ness.

Moments before joining with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to plant trees at the National Botanical Gardens yesterday, Mottley noted that over the next two months the National Conservation Commission as well as the Ministry of Environment and National Beautification will start to unfurl plans for the gardens to the public.

“It is not only intended for governments to sponsor parts, but it is intended for ordinary Barbadians to claim a part of this earth and to believe that by their own efforts, they play their part in helping to claim these gardens, so this is not a government project but a national and international project, because it allows us to see what can happen when we cooperate and work with the same mission at hand,” she said.

Earlier in the ceremony, President Kenyatta expressed interest in the programme, pledging his country’s care for two acres of the gardens and stated that a Kenyan delegation would be dispatched to see how those lands could be developed “so that we truly can be connected”. (JMB)

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