Educational tour and briefing on UN Decade for People of African Descent

Cape Coast, July 6, 2015 – UNIC Accra, students and teachers from Christ the King International School in Accra embarked on a journey to Cape Coast in the Central Region for an event in commemoration of the International Decade for People of African Descent. The purpose of the trip was to sensitize the 100 students on the contributions and challenges of people of African Descent and the significance of the Decade.

Students being briefed at the Cape Coast Castle

Students being briefed at the Cape Coast Castle

Upon arrival at the Cape Coast Castle, Mr. Alex Okpei, Head of Educational Programs at the castle gave a detailed account of the historical usage and significance of all the structures, such as the cannons, cannon balls, gravestones and pigeon-hole ventilated dungeons in the castle. Among some of the emotions expressed by the students were pity, disgust, fright and awe at the sight of the remnants.

The tour of the castle ended with the group

Drama  performance

Drama performance

exiting and re-entering the infamous “Door of No Return” and the “Door of Return” respectively. The Door of No Return is the door facing the sea, through which slaves were lowered down into boats, bound for North and South America. More intriguingly was the sight of the inscription “Door of Return” on the other side of the door.  Mr. Okpei shared that the Door significantly marked the ability for the African Diaspora to return to their homeland and heritage.

In a briefing following the tour, Mr. Martin Odoi, a Programme Officer of the WEB Dubois Center in Accra challenged the students to answer the critical question” what makes you African?” of which the students shared their varied opinions.

Drama performance

Drama performance

The African Music and Dance Foundation (Afrimuda Foundation), performed a beautiful melodrama based on colonization, interspersed with finely tuned African cultural drumming, music and dance.

UNIC Accra staff members later posted the Decade posters at vantage points in and around the castle to inform visitors and the general public of the Decade for People of African Descent, which was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly.  The Decade, spanning from January 2015 to December 2024, signifies a period to effectively engage all important players to implement actions that promote the recognition, justice and development of people of African descent.