PRESIDENT of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, on Tuesday, laid wreaths at the Non-Aligned Monument and the 1763 Monument, in recognition of the contributions of Ghana to their historical developments.
The Ghanaian President is in Guyana for a two-day State visit during which he will sign bilateral agreements with President David Granger and be conferred the highest State Award, the Order of Excellence.
Prior to his arrival at the Non-Aligned Monument on Tuesday morning, President Akufo-Addo was greeted at the Marriott Hotel — where he is staying — by Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings.
Together, they departed for the wreath-laying ceremonies, arriving first at the Company Path Gardens for the ceremonial wreath-laying at the Non-Aligned Monument.
He was received by His Excellency Cedric Joseph, C.C.H. and the National Anthem of Ghana was played in the presence of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) Guard of Honour.
The Ghanaian President was then escorted to the Monument where he laid a floral tribute at the base of the monument.
Ghana’s first President, President Kwame Nkrumah, was one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Monument.
The monument commemorates the 1972 Conference of Foreign Ministers of Non-Aligned countries, held in Guyana that year.
It was first unveiled by Guyana’s first President, Arthur Chung, in honour of the founders who also included President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt; President Jawaharlal Nehru of India and President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia.
The Non- Aligned Monument is situated on the corner of Republic Avenue between Church Street and North Road and consists of four busts sculpted to the likeness of each of the founders.
Three are made of bronze and one of plastic; they were sculpted in the countries from which the founder-leaders originated.
They are mounted on a concrete plinth with a base made of quartz stone from the Mazaruni district while four jasper rocks from Guyana’s Orinduik Falls adorn the front of the monument in a pool decorated with colourful stones from the riverbeds of Guyana.
Before leaving the Company Path Gardens, he expressed words of greetings to children of the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre (PRRC) present and students of The Bishop’s High School, Christ Church Secondary and Saint John’s College.
Outside the Gardens, the President of Ghana was greeted by scores of Guyanese in representation of African groups, secondary schools and the general public.
Some persons were dressed in various forms of African wear while others waved the flags of Guyana and Ghana as a form of welcome
They all cheered when President Akufo-Addo waved as he departed for the 1763 Monument located a few minutes away at the Square of the Revolution.
Upon arrival at the Square, the National Anthem of Ghana was once again played while President Nana Akufo-Addo was escorted to the Monument by Chairman of the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana, Vincent Alexander.
The 1763 Monument was built to commemorate the 1763 revolution, also known as the “Great Rebellion”, which occurred on plantation Magdelenenburg in the Dutch colony of Berbice, on the upper Canje River.
The revolution is considered to be the first major attempt by enslaved Africans to fight for their freedom.
An enslaved African named ‘Kofi’ or ‘Cuffy’ from Ghana, West Africa, led in the organisation of military attacks on several plantations.
The monument features include pouting lips which symbolise the resistance to oppression; a shield-like face on the chest represents a spiritual guard against enemies and hands of a pig and dog being squeezed, symbolising the greed, lust and ignorance against which Guyanese should fight.
The map of Guyana carved on the back of the monument is a representation of the peoples of Guyana.
President Akufo-Addo laid the floral tribute at the base of the monument to a roll of drums played by the GDF.