Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor has addressed the Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa (HACSA) underscoring the need for women empowerment to be at the center for actualizing the positive legacies of Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The Vice President recounted that Liberia and Ghana symbolize not only points of departure into slavery, and points of return as freed men and women dedicated to the quest for freedom, self-governance and determination; but like the vast expanse of the African continent, together, they represent an oasis of hope, freedom and aspirations of the black race.
In her inspiring presentation, she also cautioned as Africans, “our common purpose is not one dedicated to racial superiority, but that racial harmony and respect for the rights of all God’s children are essential elements by which we can collectively rise in shared responsibilities and contributions to a better world for ourselves, and for posterity.”
A dispatch from Ghana says she spoke at the HACSA summit 2019, being held in Accra, Ghana, which is running from August 7- 10. The summit is being held under the theme: “Linking, Reconciling and Reuniting Communities 400 years after the start of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade”.
The Vice President shared the platform with Ambassador Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyapi, Minister of Tourism and Arts of Ghana, Mr. Abdourahamane Diallo, Country Director of UNESCO Ghana and Hon. Samia Nkrumah, former Member of the Parliament of Ghana and daughter of legendary Kwame Nkrumah (founding President of Ghana).
Speaking further, Madam Howard-Taylor intimated that the HACSA summit proves that Africans are still possessed of the dreams, hopes and aspirations of their forebears and that even slavery could not take away our innate desires to build, and to grow into the eminence that was once ours.
The Liberian first female Vice President argued that if, as slaves, we could improve the economies of others, teach ourselves to read and write, and sing a song of unfading hope; then as freed men and women, we can manage our economies, embrace good governance, end corruption and provide quality education for our youth across Africa.
The Center of the matter, Vice President Howard-Taylor said, is that the African woman is empowered. “She must be capacitated in order to be able to proudly stand, and to assume her rightful place, side by side with her male counterparts,” she said.
Meanwhile, Liberia’s first female Vice President has been shortlisted amongst 100 most influential Women in Africa. The list was published by a reputable Public Relations firm, Avance Media, which operates in seven countries across Africa.
Notably, the women were listed not on the basis of rank but captured distinguished women whose work continues to inspire the next generation of Africa. The list also showcases 100 women from 35 African countries who are changing the feminine narratives and challenging the status quo of Women on the African continent.
Madam Vice President then concluded that as freed people, “we must embrace freedom, accept all of the attending responsibilities cherish and protect all of our values and virtues, and utilize the awesome collective knowledge and experience to create a better world.”
The HACSA summit is a convergence of political leaders, professionals and civil society actors to discuss the legacies of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, its attending impacts on Africa and its people.
HACSA was founded in 2016 by Ambassador Johanna O. Svanikier, and had since witnessed the participation of more than 2000 individuals from more than 35 countries across the world.